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Fullerton Remembers its Fallen on 84th Memorial Day

“We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.’’ Those were the words on the American Veterans Memorial Association’s program for their 84th annual Memorial Day event. This was the first year the event returned to Loma Vista Park since 2019 because of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event’s master of ceremonies and coordinator was Ed Paul, adjutant of Fullerton American Legion Post 142, who has been leading the program since 2008. The program first started in 1939 by C. Stanley Chapman who was grandson to one of Fullerton’s founding families.

Dave Deno and Kristen Romero were the soloist singers. Romero sang “God Bless America” and a duet with Deno of the National Anthem. Dino also sang “America the Beautiful” and an acoustic version of “My Buddy” to let us know how the soldiers in the trenches would hear it.

This year’s guest speaker was Brigadier General David A. Smith, who is the Special Assistant to the Commanding General, California State Guard (CSG).

Smith gave a moving speech about immigrant Sgt. Peralta who gave his life in Iraq by hugging a grenade that was thrown at his battle position and saved his comrades in arms.

In attendance was Fullerton Mayor Fred Jung, who gave the POW/MIA recognition, City Councilmembers Ahmed Zahra, Jesus Silva, Mayor Pro Tem Bruce Whitaker, and OC Supervisor Doug Chaffee.