Electronically Serving Monterey Park, Alhambra, San Gabriel, & Rosemead

Veterans Day


Veterans joined together to celebrate their special day at the Monterey Park City Hall on 11-11 at 11 AM.



Monterey Park’s War Memorial and the American and Chinese War Memorial are located in front of the City Hall.


John Fu, a member of the Chinese American Military Support, joined with Tsumu Tu and Arthur Fong at the ceremony.


American Legion Post #397 Commander Gabriel Suarez welcomed everyone to this event. He was joined by Mayor Hans Liang, Mayor Pro Tem Peter Chan, Councilmember Mitch Ing, Senator Ed Hernandez, WW II veteran Bill Sanchez, City Treasurer Joseph Leon, City Clerk Vince Chang and Post Chaplain Tom McCrady.

Councilmembers Teresa Real Sebastian was not able to attend. She sends her love and good wishes to the veterans. Councilmember Anthony Wong was out of town and was not able to attend this event.

During the ceremony six planes did a “fly over” in honor of the day.


Members of American Legion Post #397 presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Betsy Villasenor sang our National Anthem.


Chaplain Tom McCrady led the invocation. He asked God to bless the veterans for their service to our country and give them peace and happiness.


Members of the Monterey Park Opti-Mrs. and the Ladies Auxiliary place a wreath honoring the veterans in front of the War Memorial.


Mayor Hans Liang thanked the veterans, members of Post #397, Bill Sanchez, staff and the residents for being here today. He thanked the veterans for their service to our country. It is hard to imagine all of the ordeals that the veterans went through to protect our freedoms, their sacrifices and their memories after the war.  He thanked all of the veterans. It is an honor to be here today. He asked God to bless America.


Mayor Pro Tem Peter Chan thanked all of the veterans for their service to us. He heard many stories from veterans over the years. The veterans’ life style is ready to sacrifice yourselves and to be ready to protect us. Veterans have earned the respect from all people.

Councilmember Mitch Ing thanked all of those who attended this ceremony. He serves on the Rose Parade Committee and this year’s Grand Marshal is Louis Zamperini who was a Prisonor of War held by the Japanese during World War II. His life story is written up in a book titled“Unbroken”. Mr. Zamperini died this year so his family will accept the honor for him. He thanked all of the veterans for their sacrifice to our country.
Senator Ed Hernandez thanked the City Council for always having a Veterans Day event. He thanked the staff and city manager. We live in a country with personal freedoms: the right to vote and freedom of speech. It is a free country where we can live in peace. It is not free. He thanked thoses who served in combat and paid the ultimate price. He spoke of all the veterans who have sacrified for us. He thanked the veterans for their service and the residents for their support.
Senator Hernandez presented a proclamation to the City Council, City Clerk and City Treasurer for their support of Veterans Day.
City Clerk Vince Chang said it was an honor to be here among all of the veterans. Voting is a way to participate. Don’t forget to register to vote. Get involved in your city by participating with the community. It is a way to honor the veterans.
City Treasurer Joseph Leon thanked the veterans for our freedoms here and elsewhere. He spoke about members of his family serving in the military. He thanked everyone for being here today.
Commander Suarez introduced Janet Chin from the Garvey School Board, Police Chief Jim Smith, police officers, firefighters and Boy Scouts who were in the audience.
World War II veteran and former Prisoner of War Bill Sanchez who thanked the audience for their participation. He spoke about his trip to Japan where he and six other veterans where invited to all expense paid trip by the Japanese government.
His son, David Sanchez, joined him on this trip and assisted him with communications.
Mr. Sanchez stated he was the group leader and was the person who addressed the audience at each venue.
They visited the Japanese seat of government. He said some of the officials were not happy with the bombing of their country. They said they were forced into the war.
They visited a college with many English-speaking students who were happy to meet them.
They visited the U S Embassy in Japan. He visited with Caroline Kennedy. He spoke about the war and restructuring of Japan. Japan was developed as a source of power that it is still today.
He said that General MacArthur was ordered by the US Government to report to Australia during World War II to help fight the enemy from that base of operations.
General MacArthur and the Japanese Emperor worked together to restore Japan after the war.
They visited Camp Omori, their prisoner of war camp, where they were used as labor to build up the camp for more prisoners.
They visited a Temple that had records of every POW who died in captivity. He finally located the name of one of his friends who died during the war.
Mr. Sanchez said it is always a pleasure to speak to the group on Armistice Day. He lives each day and enjoys his freedom.
Herman Medina said it is the people the veterans have to thank. It is with your support we can do it. He thanked the police and firefighters. He was born in Texas in 1944. His older brother was killed in Korea in 1952. He does not remember him but does remember the Christmas Star as his brother died around Christmas. His family then moved to California and he attended Garfield High School. He joined the ROTC. He wanted to be a Marine like his brother but he was not accepted for health reasons. He joined the Army. He spoke about his years in the Army. He was send to the Electronic School in Georgia. He was assigned to Korea and was about to be transferred to Vietnam. He said due to a mix up he was transferred back home and was assigned to train new military members back in Georgia before his discharge. He was grateful to serve in that time. He thanked everyone for their support and their love of this country.

Eddie Garcia served in the Navy from 1968 to 1972. He spoke about the history of 11-11-11 that marked the end of World War I in 1918. It was known as Armistice Day and later changed in 1934 to Veterans Day in honor of all of the veterans. In 1954 Senator Reece had the name officially changed to Veterans Day. He thanked all of the veterans. We all had a job to do. He thanked the veterans and their families.
Commander Gabriel Suarez stated the veterans defend us 365 days a year from the American Revolution to the Global War on Terror. Our warriors need advocates. The legion serves them. Veterans need each other. Visit them in the hospitals and donate to veterans’ causes. He thanked all of the audience for attending this ceremony. He thanked all of the men and woman for their service. He thanked the veterans and their families. It is an honor to be here to bring all veterans together and our Americanism. He invited the audience to join them for lunch at the post.
Members of the Monterey Park Opti-Mrs. have donated wreaths to the veterans for the last 30 years.

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