At the Faces of Freedom Memorial in Atascadero, more than five hundred patriots turned out for the 101st Anniversary of Armistice Day, which commemorates the Armistice of the First World War, when the guns fell silent at 11:00 am on November 11, 1918. In the United States, it was renamed Veteran’s Day in 1954.
The Grizzly Academy 3rd Platoon Cadets marched into the Memorial with the United States and California flags escorted by the Central Coast Pipes and Drums.
Guest speaker Greg McGill talked about the inspiration his forming in 2014 Honor Flight Central Coast of California. Honor Flight has transported 347 veterans from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties to our nation’s capital.
Captain Richard B. Hathock and Mrs. Ann Hatch placed a memorial wreath at the memorial to honor all veterans. Hathcock served in the Vietnam War as a helicopter pilot. Mrs. Ann Hatch recently lost her husband, Lt. Colonel Bill Hatch, to cancer. Hatch graduated from the US Military Academy and served with honor in Operation Desert Storm.
Among those attending the event in Atascadero Monday: District Attorney Dan Dow, who is a decorated US Army Veteran; County Supervisors Debbie Arnold and John Peschong; Sheriff Ian Parkinson; County Clerk Recorder Tommy Gong; and Atascadero Mayor Heather Moreno and council members Roberta Fonzi, Susan Funk and Heather Newsom. Tommy Gong and his sons, Derick and Darin, played taps at the conclusion of the ceremony.
After the event, Atascadero Kiwanis served hot dogs and Bratwurst sandwiches. Volunteers representing local nonprofits serving veterans manned booths around the park, talking with veterans and survivors about programs which may serve them.
Sheriff Ian Parkinson said, “The Faces of Freedom Memorial is unbelievable. The group of people that come out to support veterans is unbelievable. It’s always an honor to be here.”
Supervisor Debbie Arnold, who represents the Atascadero area said, “It was very well attended. I talked with Mark Greenway, who did the sculpture. We think people are wanting to show their appreciation to the veterans and what they’ve done for all of us.”