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Manhattan Beach Honors Veterans at Ceremony

Nov 11, 2021 03:31PM ● By Jeanne Fratello
The city of Manhattan Beach honored veterans at its 24th annual Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday, featuring local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, as well as keynote speaker and veteran Army reservist Yasim Espat.

Manhattan Beach City Councilmember Richard Montgomery served as master of ceremonies. Councilmembers Joe Franklin, Suzanne Hadley, and several former mayors were also in attendance. 

Montgomery remarked that this was the first time in memory that all members of the Manhattan Beach City Council had family members who formerly served or are currently serving in the military. He mentioned and expressed gratitude to Suzanne Hadley's son, Hildy Stern's son, Joe Franklin's son, Steve Napolitano's father, and his own father.

Espat, the keynote speaker, was born in Belize and came to the United States at age 16. 

"I wanted to serve because I wanted to show some appreciation for what this country gave me," he said. 

Espat added, "The day you put the uniform on, you serve, you believe in who we are, and we become one. We are the United States of America. And no one can take that away from us."

Manhattan Beach Girl Scout Casey Kaplan was one of several scouts who gave thoughtful speeches honoring relatives who had served. 

"I am so grateful to all of our veterans who put their lives in danger for the freedom of us all," said Kaplan.

Following all of the young scouts' speeches, Montgomery noted proudly, "For those of who are wondering what the future of our country looks like - this is who they are."

The event also included the singing of the National Anthem by the Manhattan Beach Middle School choir, as well as music from the "official band of Manhattan Beach," the Hyperion Outfall Serenaders.

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