They came from all branches of the military. Every war from WWII to Desert Storm.
Dozens of veterans took part in the dedication of the new Calabasas Veterans Garden Tuesday. The garden sits among rose bushes behind city hall and features five plaques to represent Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard.
Calabasas Mayor David Shapiro gave a moving introduction about his family’s military history, and his desire to erect a permanent monument to those who served.
The ceremony included an invocation from Chaplain Dov Cohen, an emotional dissertation entitled “Old Glory” from Jimmy Weldon and heartfelt speeches from Calabasas veterans Harold Arkoff, Roger Chartrand and David J. Worley.
Chartrand gave an emotional speech about his high-school age daughter, and how only four students in her class salute the flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, and how as a veteran’s daughter she encourages other young people to respect our flag.
The Calabasas High School band provided the national anthem and a rendition of each branch’s theme song. Flags from each branch lined the garden wall.
A large contingent of Wings Over Wendys, a veterans group, was present to help dedicate the memorial along with all Calabasas City Councilmembers and many community leaders.
WOW leader Ed Reynolds also spoke about being a veteran, and the service of the men and women to this country. Most of WOW members are from WWII, and some came in wheelchairs, some remained seated, but all saluted when their branch of the military was honored.
The garden is open to the public.