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Statement from Mayor Don Schweitzer: Brea War Memorial

5 years ago by in ( Broadcast your Event , City Guide , Events , News , Old/New , Welcome to Brea )

Master of Ceremonies, Mayor Don Schweitzer. Photo courtesy of Jon Gaede

The Brea War Memorial is now open following a community ceremony on Veterans Day, November 11, 2012. The crowd of approximately 1,000 spectators included families of some of Brea's 19 fallen heroes, veterans and their families, City Commissioners, Scouts, members from the faith community, and many other Brea residents.

Large crowd gathered at Brea War Memorial Ceremony. Photo by Jon Gaede

I served as the Master of Ceremonies, opening with a welcome, followed by the Brea Police Department Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance led by Council Member Ron Garcia, and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem by singer Denise Stefanie.

Pastor Dave Radar from Brea Baptist Church presented the invocation. I then followed his remarks recalling the inspiration for the Memorial, honoring veterans, active military and recognizing the families of the fallen and recounting the story of the first Brean that died for his country in World War I.  He was Private First Class Joe Reiniche, U.S. Army, killed on May 29, 1918 in the trenches of France during WWI. He had enlisted just eight months earlier and was excited about fighting in the War to end all Wars. Joe, a Brea oil fields worker, was 28-years old. 23 years later another war began in Europe and more Breans gave their lives for freedom. More wars followed, with more stories and more names for the Memorial's Wall of Remembrance--19 Breans to-date.

Brea Police Department Honor Guard, photo courtesy of Jon Gaede

Inspiring words from U.S. Congressman Ed Royce, Memorial artist Susan Narduli, and keynote speaker Colonel Christopher C. LaNeve, U.S. Army, who underscored the importance of such recognitions, spoke of the history of Veterans Day and his own life-changing experience on the fateful day of September 11, 2001. Commander Kendal Webb, Brea Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5384 read the names of Brea's fallen, while Commander Kevin Duncan, Brea American Legion tolled a bell marking each death. Colonel LaNeve and I lead the families down the Walk of Honor to lay a memorial wreath at the Wall of Remembrance, where the names of the fallen are etched in glossy black granite. Taps played solemnly in the background.

Photo courtesy of Jon Gaede

"From this day forward, generation after generation, we will remember the 19 Breans that paid the ultimate price and hope and pray no more names need to be added in the future." --Mayor Schweitzer--

Following the event, spectators toured the site, taking photos, wiping away tears, telling stories, and making new memories.  The dedication was truly a community event that won’t be soon forgotten. The Brea War Memorial will stand as a testament that Brea will never forget the sacrifices made by the men and women whose names are etched on the Wall of Remembrance and the Walk of Honor.

Vintage aircraft fly over to salute war veterans. Photo by Jon Gaede

Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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