A nation reveals itself not only by the men it produces but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers.” — President John F. Kennedy
Please join me on Memorial Day weekend as Irvine honors the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation and pays special tribute to our local service members and veterans.
Irvine has a long and proud military tradition. From 1942 to 1999, Irvine was home to Marine Air Station El Toro, the largest Marine Corps Air Station on the West Coast. During World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War, thousands of United States Marines, as well as airmen, sailors and soldiers, departed for war from MCAS El Toro.
Many never returned.
Irvine has now dedicated 125 acres of the former El Toro Marine Base to serve as an Orange County Veterans Cemetery, providing a final resting place for those served, close to their families and loved ones.
As the daughter of a combat veteran, as the cousin of a Marine who was killed in action, and as an Irvine City Councilmember, I am proud of Irvine’s firm commitment to our veterans.
Irvine will honor our fallen heroes in two ceremonies this Memorial Day Weekend:
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Candle Lighting Ceremony: Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial
4531 Bryan Avenue, Irvine CA 92620
The Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial, dedicated in 2010, is the nation’s first and only memorial dedicated exclusively to listing the names of all the fallen American service members in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The names of every service member who has died in Afghanistan and Iraq are engraved in granite in a permanent memorial, to assure that future generations of Americans will remember and honor them with gratitude as we do today.
The ceremony will honor our fallen heroes from all generations, with special tribute to those fallen heroes of the recent and ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The candle lighting ceremony will include presentations from and honor Gold Star families.
Please bring lawn chairs or blankets for seating.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Memorial Day Ceremony: Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park
4 Civic Center Plaza, Irvine CA 92606
Col. Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park, located next to City Hall, is named in honor of Korean War Medal of Honor recipient and Irvine resident Marine Corps Colonel William E. Barber (1919-2002).
Attendees will have the opportunity to memorialize our troops’ sacrifice by writing a brief remembrance to be posted on a memory board.
As I have done in past years, I will be filling out a memorial card for my cousin, PFC Irwin Handler, USMC, who was killed in Korea, and for the son of family friends, LCPL Donald J. Hogan, USMC, Navy Cross, who was killed in Afghanistan.
Cards will also be available for well-wishers to send a message of appreciation and support to Irvine’s adopted 211/Marine Battalion.
Click here to download a pre-made remembrance card.
As stated so beautifully and appropriately by the Veterans of Foreign Wars:
Pausing to remember and honor America’s fallen service members is a practice dating back more than 100 years. Since the days of the Civil War, humble Americans have gathered together on Memorial Day to remember and pay tribute to all who have fought and selflessly surrendered the precious gift of life, so that other could live free.
Again we gather this Memorial Day, as a nation solemnly united in remembrance of the fallen defenders of our great nation. Freedom is not free. It has come at great cost, paid for with the lives of our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, sisters and brothers, friends and comrades.
Every American owes a great debt to the courageous men and women who have selflessly given their all to defend and protect our way of life. And while giving back to the extent they deserve is impossible, celebrating their memory and honoring their most selfless deeds offers a start.
This Memorial Day, pause to reflect on the absolute selflessness of the 1.3 million members of our nation’s military who paid the price needed to ensure our way of life endures, and let us not forget the families whose pain will never go away, but may lessen with our thanks and prayers.
God Bless our fallen, their families, and our men and women in uniform all over the world.