Honoring our Veterans in 2020

Several years ago I created the City Council's annual "Veterans of the Year" ceremony to commemorate Veterans Day. Every year, we have honored and highlighted one veteran from each council district who has served our country and our community with honor and distinction. The proud families and friends of our Veterans of the Year fill the Council Chambers as Councilmembers describe their honorees extraordinary service. The ceremony is always one of the high points of the year at City Hall.

Due to COVID restrictions, we had to make a big change in 2020 because we could not conduct the ceremony live and in person. Instead, I worked with the Los Angeles City Channel (Channel 35) to create a tribute video that features our Veteran of the Year honorees for 2020 in conversation with their respective Councilmember. I invite you to watch the video, which is an emotional tribute to men and women who have lived their lives in service to others, here and abroad.

A perfect example is Steve Flores, my selection for the CD2 Veteran of the Year for 2020. As an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department's North Hollywood Division, Officer Flores, who grew up in the Valley, works tirelessly to keep young people from getting involved with gangs. As a staff sergeant with the United States Marines, Steve Flores did two tours of duty fighting against terrorism in Afghanistan.
At a time when we have stark divisions in this country, our 2020 Veterans of the Year remind us of the extraordinary potential of ordinary Americans. They remind us of the principles for which our country stands, and they remind us of the courage and commitment necessary to maintain those principles. They remind us of both the blessings we enjoy, and the cost we must bear, as citizens of the last best hope of earth.