Redondo Beach Veterans Day ceremony returns

Temperatures reached the upper 60s under bright skies Nov. 11.

An estimated 550 people gathered for a Veterans’ Day ceremony in Redondo Beach Nov. 11.

The event saluted servicemen and women from all military branches and many eras, including a man who was at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.

A private first-class Army 104th engineer that day, Joe Eskanazi stood up last week at Veterans Park, with a walker, and stepped toward the microphone, a son and daughter to each side.

He was asked if he would like to say a few words.

The smiling Eskanazi said yes.

The microphone was adjusted toward him and he spoke.

“I just wanted to check, anybody else from the 104th Engineers here?” he said with a smile.

Laughter followed.

State Senator Ben Allen told the gathering, “For those of us who did not step up to serve, we owe veterans especially.”

Janice Hahn, Los Angeles County supervisor, told of veterans in need and homeless veterans. 

“We will not allow any veterans in Los Angeles County to sleep on our streets,” she said.

The keynote speaker was Col. Becky Beers, U.S. Air Force garrison commander, Los Angeles Air Force base. 

Other speakers included the mayor of Ensenada, Mexico, a sister city to Redondo Beach. 

The Veterans Park flag was retired by the Redondo Union High School Marine Corps Junior ROTC. The folded flag was presented to John Cabeza de Vaca, a Navy veteran and engineer firefighter with the Redondo Beach Fire Department. ER



Special honoree Joe Eskanazi, age 103, of Redondo Beach, was an Army Engineer Private First Class at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked in 1941.

Members of the Redondo Union High School Marine Corps JROTC retire the flag at Veterans Park during Thursday’s ceremony.

The 40th Infantry Division Band, Los Alamitos, Calif., performs the Armed Forces Medley.

Military veterans across eras and branches attended the tribute, which featured special mention of Merchant Marines.

Becky Beers, colonel, U.S. Air Force Garrison Commander, Los Angeles Air Force Base, gives the keynote address.

U.S. Navy veteran and Redondo Beach Fire Department engineer John Cabeza de Vaca receives the colors of the retired flag.

Observers watch the ceremony attended by an estimated 550 people.

Host Tom Lasser, a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot, speaks to the crowd during the event organized by the Redondo Beach Veterans Memorial Task Force.

The ceremony returned to Veterans’ Park after cancellation in 2020 due to Covid-19.

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