(Left to right) David Lopez, Commander of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 56, and Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043 members Gordon Welsh, Rey Frutos and Jerry Olivas salute during the playing of taps at the end of the VFW ceremony held Tuesday, Veterans Day.

Annual Veterans Day celebration held at Veterans Park

November 14, 2014
Santa Paula News

Over 100 Santa Paula veterans and family members attended the Veterans Day observance Tuesday at Veterans Park.

The annual event is sponsored by Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043. After a music prelude provided by the Santa Paula High School Band, the Isbell Middle School Chorus and the Barbara Webster School 5th graders, VFW Post Commander Jerry Olivas welcomed everyone to the event.

One highlight of the ceremony was a salute to the Mercer-Prieto Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2043 members that were 90 years old or older, followed by the reading of the poem, “What is a veteran” by Carlos Lopez. 

Several Certificates of recognition were given out. David Lopez, Commander of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 56 for his work to spearhead the effort to designate a portion of Highway 126 as the Korean War Veterans Highway and created a monument to those veterans at Veterans Park. Don and Debbie Johnson of the Santa Paula Times for their dedication to Santa Paula. Times writers Brian D. Wilson and Peggy Kelly were also recognized.

After the presentations VFW Quartermaster/Adjutant Rey Frutos called the roll of Santa Paula men and women who died in service to their country, with post members answering “Here” for each name. Memorial wreaths were placed. That was followed by a three-volley rifle squad salute and the playing of Taps by Rudy Arellano of the Korean War Veterans Association. Refreshments were served by the Soroptimist International of Santa Paula.

Following the ceremonies everyone was invited to Mountain View Golf Course for a BBQ lunch, featuring two whole roasted pigs. It was sponsored by the Santa Paula Motorcycle Riders of Ventura County.

City Council member Martin Hernandez and his wife Holly addressed the gathering. Their two sons have served in the military and in particular in Afghanistan. Holly said she represents every mother that has ever sent her son or daughter away from home to the military or overseas, “And worry about them every single night. I am so pleased to say that my boys came home and I know that there are some of you out there that all you have are the memories and a flag. And I just want to tell you that until my last breath I will be so honored to be an American and to be able to go to work when I want to go to work, to have an education, to have health, to have freedom of speech and the reason that we can convene like this is because every single one of you veterans fought for us. I am so humbled and so grateful.”

Councilman Hernandez thanked Mountain View Golf Course for hosting the BBQ. Hernandez said, “All I can tell you is, not just as a veteran but as a father of two young men; you never stop worrying about them.” He told his son Josh, who was at the BBQ that he was very proud of him. He added, “To all you parents we’re praying for you if you have loved ones serving overseas.”

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.