By Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda
Veterans Day is one of the most treasured holidays in the Santa Clarita Valley. Our area has long been home to veterans, military members and their families. Serving the greater good is just one reason why Santa Clarita is the wonderful city we all call home. As we approach Veterans Day this year, I ask that we not only take time to celebrate and honor our veterans for their service but also show support for their loved ones who have also given so much to our country – particularly during the pandemic.
Speaking of the coronavirus pandemic, public health and safety guidelines necessitate that this year’s Veterans Day ceremony, which would normally be held on Wednesday, Nov. 11, will be offered online only. While we will not be able to gather at Veterans Historical Plaza for our annual event, as usual, the ceremony will be broadcast starting at 11 a.m. on Wednesday and can be seen on SCVTV (Spectrum channel 20 or AT&T channel 99), as well as the city of Santa Clarita’s Facebook and YouTube accounts.
Please tune in to watch the pre-recorded program as I, and my fellow City Council members, join local veterans groups in honoring our veterans and commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The Knights of Columbus Santa Clarita Assembly and Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 355, will complete a changing of the flags, and a variety of patriotic performances will round out the program.
Although we cannot gather together in person, I do encourage you and your loved ones to visit Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall to pay tribute to our veterans, as well as the Santa Clarita Valley’s fallen warriors who have lost their lives in service to our country. The plaza is the perfect place to reflect and offer your thoughts and prayers to the brave men and women in our military.
As you travel throughout Santa Clarita, you will also notice that even more Hometown Heroes banners are on display. These banners honor our currently serving military personnel, while those in gold are reserved for our Gold Star service members who have made the ultimate sacrifice. The city has been working hard over the past few months to expand the banner program and make it more accessible — and less expensive — for those wanting to recognize the military member in their family. You can learn more about ordering a banner and see digital versions of all that are hanging in the city by visiting santa-clarita.com/Heroes.
Honoring and thanking our veterans for their service to the United States should not be a one-day event. In Santa Clarita, we stand for supporting our neighbors and helping them access the resources, services and supplies they need every single day. That is why I want to ask each and every one of you to make a point this holiday season to help a veteran in need.
Whether that is by volunteering your time, donating essential items or making a monetary contribution, get in touch with your nearby veterans’ organization to see how you can make a difference during the holidays. There are so many veterans’ groups in the Santa Clarita Valley to be involved with — more than a dozen help put on the Veterans Day event each year!
If you are looking for more information about Veterans Day or how you can get involved in the community, please feel free to send me an email. If you are a veteran, the family member of a veteran or if your loved one is currently on active duty, please also reach out any time — even if it is just to say hello.
I will miss seeing you all on Veterans Day this year, but I look forward to reuniting our large group of attendees once more in 2021.
Mayor Pro Tem Bill Miranda is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].