Judge David O. Carter was the guest speaker at the 85th Annual Memorial Day Celebration at Heisler Park in Laguna Beach. The US District Court Judge for the Central District of California and Laguna native told the crowd that gathered Monday morning at Monument Point that he was honored to be there on such an auspicious occasion.
But he also said that he was bothered by the fact that his generation of soldiers had not been vocal enough telling their story and remembering those who lost their lives fighting to preserve the American way of life. The emotional damage had been too painful to talk about all those years ago, and for many not even time could heal those wounds.
The younger generation rarely is affected today by the casualties of war, because more and more extended families have fewer and fewer veterans at home or abroad. It is time, Carter said, for every veteran to stand up and be heard before it's too late.
Those words came out loud and clear for the 100 or so men, women and children who gathered to listen and take part in the hour-long ceremony under warm, sunny skies, surrounded by red, white and blue floral decorations and wearing red crepe paper poppies.
The benediction was performed by Chaplain Norm Abbod of Legion Post 222 and a 21-gun salute was executed by a veteran firing detail to honor the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and in particular the departed comrades locally who passed on to Post Everlasting during the past year: George Andrews, R.B. Dillon, Edward Drollinger, John Holt, Harry Lawrence, Kenneth Martin, Richard Paul, Paul Pon, Lee Rhodes, John Schrom, Wayne Shaffer and John C. Ware.
It was a day for all to look back and look ahead.