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Saluting the veterans

Huntington Beach goes all out for those who are serving or have served our country.

November 12, 2013|By Anthony Clark Carpio
  • An Army jacket hangs from a flagpole in honor of Veterans Day as people play in the surf north of the Huntington Beach Pier on Monday. A group of local veterans creates the memorial jacket each year to honor those who have fought and died for American freedom.
An Army jacket hangs from a flagpole in honor of Veterans… (Don Leach, HB Independent )

Andy Scott had the honor of playing "Amazing Grace" in front of more than 100 people in Pier Plaza on Monday morning.

But the Huntington Beach resident, donned in a traditional Scottish piper's uniform, ran into some technical difficulties during the 13th annual Veterans Day ceremony.

"This reed fell out and went down into the bag, so when I started to play I couldn't get any air," said Scott, who has played at the event for the past 11 years. "It was just a little malfunction. Once I got the reed back and plugged it in, we were ready to go."

More than 50 veterans sitting on the plaza's steps rose to their feet and saluted the flags of the United States, Huntington Beach and the National League of POW/MIA Families as they waved in the beach breeze and Scott played the somber song on his bag pipe.

Huntington Beach City Council members and representatives of the state Legislature were there to pay respects to those who have served and who are currently serving in the U.S. military.

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"We celebrate [Veterans Day] because we care," said event master of ceremonies and Huntington Beach Planning Commission Vice Chairman Erik Peterson. "We are forever thankful for those who have served and those who are serving today."

Assemblymen Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) and Travis Allen (R-Huntington Beach) as well as U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) each gave speeches to honor the veterans in the county.

Mansoor touched on the importance of supporting the families of active-duty servicemen and women. Allen addressed the sacrifices families make, and Rohrabacher talked about the liberties service members have fought to protect.

"These [servicemen and service women] are not the norms of humankind," Rohrabacher said. "All over the world there are good people, but they are not the norms because those good people are overwhelmed by evil forces, whether it was Japanese militarism, or Nazism or communism…. It is our veterans that have stood as a line of defense for all of our freedom, and today we thank you for standing tall and strong, veterans. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

U.S. Army Lt. Col. John A. Oliver Jr. listed how civilians could give thanks to the armed forces, such as voting in elections, volunteering for worthy causes and registering for selective service.

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