Earlier this week, our nation celebrated Veterans Day and paid tribute to the men and women who have heroically served our country and defended the values we cherish. They sacrificed so much to maintain the freedoms, progress and traditions of this great country.
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, fighting between the Allied nations and Germany ceased with an armistice. Armistice Day, established in 1919, was set aside to honor veterans of World War I.
Decades later, veterans' service organizations pushed for Congress to replace "Armistice" with the word "Veterans." It wasn't until 1954 that President Eisenhower made Veterans Day a day to honor all veterans. Over the course of our history, the world has certainly changed and our armed forces have changed with it, but the valor, dignity, and courage of the men and women in uniform remain the same.
Veterans Day continues to be a celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
I was so proud to lead the City Council's Salute to Veterans to honor the outstanding service men and women here in Los Angeles who not only served our country, but continue to be pillars of strength and service in their communities. It was a special honor for me to recognize WWII Marine Corps veteran and Valley Village resident Dick Kline as Council District 2's Veteran of the Year. At 92-years-young, Dick is still a very active volunteer in our community.
Councilmember Krekorian with Dick Kline and his wife Willie. | Photo: CD2
Dick served as a Private First Class in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWII. In 1944, he was drafted to duty in Iwo Jima to fight in the Pacific Theater where he was awarded the Purple Heart after sustaining injuries in combat.
He and his wife Willie married in 1970 and the pair have lived in Valley Village since 1974.
Even today, Dick Kline is an active member of the community and can be seen around the First Christian Church grounds in Studio City with his tool belt and hammer doing repairs on the property.
So, to all the men and women who've served our country, we thank you. Through your service, you remind us of the extraordinary potential of ordinary Americans and of the courage and sacrifice it takes to protect our freedom.