Newly adopted unit will be guests of honor at Park Semper Fi event
By Wayne Eggleston
The city of San Clemente is very fortunate and honored to have not one, but two Memorial Day services on Monday, May 27, to remember our fallen soldiers of war.
The first is sponsored by the city at the Community Center from 11 a.m. to noon. All public and local organizations are invited to participate in the wreath and floral presentation. This program is co-sponsored by the SC South Coast Detachment, Marine Corps League, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Military Order of the World Wars and many civic organizations and volunteers. The event is free and open to the public.
The second one is sponsored by The Heritage of San Clemente Foundation and the city of San Clemente. It is held at the Marine Monument at Park Semper Fi from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. This year we are privileged to have Lt. Col. Richard Joyce, the Commanding Officer of Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron-469 as the guest speaker. HMLA-469 is the newest adopted Marine Corps unit of the city. Co-sponsors of HMLA-469 are the South Coast Detachment of the Marine Corps, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and The Heritage of San Clemente Foundation. Music this year will be provided by the South Coast Choral Group. While Park Semper Fi is a Marine park, the service honors all branches of the military. Also, Marine families from 2nd Battalion 4th Marines will also be in attendance as their husbands and wives are on deployment.
The event is free and open to the public. There is handicap parking available and some limited parking, but one needs to be there early for limited parking at the Pier.
Some history of HMLA-469: Marines and Sailors of HMLA-469, “Vengeance,” celebrated the squadron’s third anniversary since its inaugural commissioning on July 1, 2009. HMLA-469 is the eighth and final HMLA in the Marine Corps and its goal is to provide attack and utility helicopter air support. Its 324 Marines and Sailors work to destroy the enemy and save friendly forces, which often involves picking up the wounded. HMLA-469 has already established a reputation for quick response and precision weapons delivery, day or night, in support of the ground combat element. HMLA-469 remains an essential player within the Marine Air Ground Task Force and the greater International Security Assistance Force, maintaining 24-hour strip alert, and serving as the 9-1-1 force for the entire Helmand Province in Afghanistan during their recent deployment.
Wayne Eggleston is a former member of the San Clemente City Council and Mayor of San Clemente. He is also the founder of The Heritage of San Clemente Foundation.
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