Patriots gather to honor veterans

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A sea of red, white and blue – sprinkled with military caps in shades of brown, gray and blue – filled the area next to Towne Center Memorial Park as Canyon Lakers gathered to honor veterans at the annual Veterans Day Ceremony on November 11.

Organized by the Veterans Day Committee and funded by several generous sponsors, the event incorporated all ages from young to old.

Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts helped pass out the flags and programs, The Temescal Canyon High School Drum Line provided the energetic sound of drums before and after the ceremony. The Elsinore High School Jr. ROTC carried out the flag ceremonies. Pastor Kasey Crawford gave the invocation. Eagle Scout Jasen Williams II led the Pledge of Allegiance. The Canyon Lake Choraleers sang patriotic songs. And many, many others provided inspiration from the stage or quietly worked in the background to make this another memorial ceremony.

One of the highlights early in the event was the ceremonial flyover by WarBirds West. Prior to their appearance, Mayor Jordan Ehrenkranz explained the background of the group and the meaning of their formations. Expecting only three passes, the crowd was delighted when the planes kept returning for a total of six passes.

Michelle Wynn (retired Navy) served as master of ceremonies, and there were special presentations by Jill Batinich, Joanna Spiller and LaRue McNamara. Veterans were invited to fill out and enter a ticket for the Quilt of Valor drawing. Kathy Barbay, whose group Quilters Dozen made the quilt, pulled the winning name: U.S. Air Force Veteran Delbert Downey (1960-1966).

The ceremony closed with the traditional singing of God Bless America.

The Veterans Memorial Banner listed the names of veterans in the area under their specific branch of service. That banner will hang at City Hall for the remainder of the month. Pictures of individuals currently serving in the military also are on display at City Hall.

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Photos by Donna Kupke.

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Photos by Donna Kupke.

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Photos by Donna Kupke.

Photo by Donna Kupke.

Photo by Donna Kupke.

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Sharon Rice