Veterans stood in salute as the music of taps wafted through the air at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center on Friday during the Memorial Day Commemoration Celebration.
Veterans and their families danced and sang along to military-themed tunes representing each branch of the institution in honor of those who served the country.
“What a privilege it is…to honor them on Memorial Day weekend,” said Kevin MacDonald, the director of the SCV Senior Center.
The dining hall was completely packed for the ceremony with some 150 people present to honor those who have served. Veterans of almost every war in America’s history were represented at the ceremony.
There were also those who served through multiple wars, such as 82-year-old Earl Koskella.
Koskella served in the Navy for 30 years, starting just a couple months after he finished high school at the ripe age of 18 years old. His most memorable experience in the military was recovering astronauts in the 1960’s.
“We were the main recovery ship for the Gemini 11,” he said.
That recovery ship was the U.S.S. Guam, which Koskella was on as he saw the space ship fall out of the sky and into the ocean. Fortunately, the space ship landed as expected and the recovery was a success.
Fearless veterans, such as Koskella, are deserving of all the praise that Memorial Day entails. The recognition of these veterans is especially important to Army Veteran Bernie Katz, who organized the ceremony.
“It’s Memorial Day and we want to honor all the veterans, whether they’re here, or any place,” said Katz.