In honor of Veterans Day, the cities of Temecula and Murrieta teamed up for a flyover for veterans at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11. The flyover began above the corner of Rancho California Road and Jefferson Avenue in Temecula and continued north along Jefferson Avenue toward Kalmia Street in Murrieta.
Each year, Murrieta hosts a parade in honor of Veterans Day; however, due to the coronavirus, the city canceled their parade and organized the flyover instead.
Temecula usually features a concert in front of City Hall, but they were unable to do so this year. At this concert, the orchestra plays the Armed Forces Medley and the veterans stand as their service song is played. The audience applauds them, and each veteran is recognized. The orchestra plays many other patriotic songs during the concert.
“Unfortunately, we remain in a virtual environment with restrictions on congregations, crowds, events,” Aaron Adams, city manager of Temecula, said. “Yet we did not want that to deter the strong emphasis and appreciation from the city of Temecula for our men and women in the military.”
This year, Temecula put together a documentary with the Temecula Valley Museum, showcasing local veterans and their stories. The documentary was posted on Facebook. The veterans shared stories about why they decided to join the military, their experiences in the service and their lives since serving.
Riverside County District 3 Supervisor Chuck Washington shared his experience as a member of the valley’s military community in the video.
“We’ve done all we can to be that friendly community for our service members as well as those that are not in active duty anymore or retired veterans,” Washington said.
Additionally, Temecula hosted a virtual concert and shared some ways they honor veterans on a daily basis. In a video, Jeff Lawrence, the manager of Temecula Community Services, showcased Veterans Park, 30965 La Serena Way. The playground is dedicated to members of the service and provides both playground equipment for children
and exercise equipment for adults. Lawrence also introduced a few of the local memorials that honor veterans. The American Patriot Band performed at the Old Town Temecula Community Theater. The performance was posted on Facebook.
Temecula puts up banners of service members on the light posts throughout Old Town. At the annual Veterans Day concert, these banners are given to the families of service members to honor them. It is a free program that any family of a veteran, or veteran, can take part in.
“Intuitively, we know the city of Temecula is home to many, many active duty military members as well as many retired veterans. On behalf of the city of Temecula, we thank all of the men and women who currently wear a uniform, or previously wore the uniform and protected our freedoms, our liberties, in this great country,” Adams said.
Emily Schwank can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.