PALMDALE (CBSLA) — Palmdale’s Healing and Honor Field was covered with patriotism and pride on Veterans Day, both on the ground and in the air.
Since November 1, 2,020 American flags have been on display. The flags were purchased by people who wanted to recognize a hero — a veteran, current military member, first responder or medical professional. Each flag bears their name and service.
Following Tuesday’s Veterans Day ceremony, many of the flags were taken home by the people they honor or their families.
City officials say an estimated 1,000 people safely gathered to honor and to heal.
“I live in Kern County and we drove down here to partake in this,” said World War II veteran Bob Slade. “We got a flag for a good friend of ours who passed away a little bit ago, it’s great, really enjoy it.”
Henry Hearns, another World War II veteran, said this year’s ceremony is especially meaningful.
“I went, knowing the problem, but glad to serve my country,” Hearns said. “Even with what we’re going through right now with the political stuff, it’s still the best country in the world.”
Six-Day War veteran Ron Dishman said, “It means a lot to people here. Because of this COVID-19 thing, it’s a get-together.”
Twin brothers Ron and Rod Dishman are both veterans who said they were at the event for their friends who aren’t here.
“My friends that aren’t here. Because we went over there, 53,000 didn’t come back,” Vietnam veteran Rod Dishman said.
Palmdale resident Pamela Mejia got a flag for her son, who is an Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy.
“He is my hero and I give honor to him today for what he has done,” Mejia said.
Sonya Patterson is a proud woman veteran and wears it on her chest.
“It’s important that women veterans be recognized.” the Navy veteran said. “We have served right next to the men from the beginning of the wars until the current and we will continue on being there.”
“We’re out here to pay homage to the veterans because it’s a good opportunity, they don’t have school and we want them to know how important our history is and how important the vets are to America,” said Palmdale resident Alyson Kawahara.
Palmdale City Manager and Air Force Veteran J.J. Murphy said, “We live in the best country in the world and this goes to show people will come together and unite.”
Murphy said 100 percent of the proceeds from flag sales will go to five different veterans organizations in the Antelope Valley.