Hermosa Beach honors oldest, youngest veterans

World War II Marine Jim Gierlich, 96, is congratulated by Hermosa Beach councilman Raymond Jackson. Photo by Kevin Cody

by Kevin Cody

The oldest and youngest military veterans attending Hermosa Beach’s Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial sundial last week were recognized by Hermosa Beach Councilman Raymond Jackson, who served as emcee. The oldest was 96-year-old, World War II Marine Jim Gierlich, a long Hermosa Beach resident. The youngest was 46-year-old Hermosa Beach city employee and army veteran Jay Marcelo.

The ceremony began and ended with Diane Plaster singing the national anthem, and her husband Daniel, a retired Master Sergeant, sounding taps.

Jackson, a retired Army colonel, ended his remarks by observing there are those who say, “Not me,” and those who say “Send me.”

Jackson then read from the lyrics “Send me,” by country singer and former U.S. Army Ranger Keni Thomas: 

Come on send me

Here am I, send me

Victory lies in the spirit of the lives 

of the men who died for me. ER