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Photos and Text by Kristina Pritchett

More than 1,000 people stood on the lawn in Pines Park on Memorial Day to pay tribute to the men and women who have died while serving the country.

Every year the city of Dana Point and the Dana Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9934 hold the ceremony that not only honors those no longer alive, but recognizes the veterans still with us.

This year, veterans from World War II and Korean War were called to the front and received pins while their names were read aloud.

Commander of the Dana Point VFW Post 9934 Phil Jimenez said it was important to continue to honor those men and women as well as to teach younger generations of what Memorial Day really means.

“We need to educate them that Memorial Day is not just another holiday,” Jimenez said.

Lt. Col. Jamey M. Federico, executive officer of Marine Aircraft Group 39, was the keynote speaker during the event. He previously spoke during the city’s Veteran’s Day ceremony and said it was an honor to speak to the crowd once again.

He told the audience that with freedom comes responsibilities and as Americans people need to appreciate those responsibilities.

“We have a responsibility to make this country a country worth fighting for,” Frederico said.

Cmdr., and former mayor, Carlos Olvera was the master of ceremonies. David Longoria performed TAPS on the trumpet and his son Lucas sang God Bless the U.S.A.

Senior Vice Cmdr. Richard Alonzo, Junior Vice Commander Carlos Garcia, Marine Aircraft Group 30 of Camp Pendleton and members of the VFW Auxiliary 9934 led the roll call.

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