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Residents pay tribute to fallen veterans

Residents gather at the Veterans Memorial Park to honor military men and women who died in service. Photo by Karen Bevans.

A group of Canyon Lake residents gathered at the Veterans Memorial Park in the Towne Center on Memorial Day for a moment of silence at 3 p.m. to honor the United States military men and women who died in service. This tradition was started five years ago by Bert Barbay, a Canyon Lake resident who served in the U.S. Navy for six years.

Canyon Lake Mayor Jordan Ehrenkranz led the group in the flag salute and paid tribute to fallen veterans. Barbay spoke about Memorial Day and National Day of Remembrance. Former Canyon Lake Mayor Nancy Horton read the poem “In Flanders Fields,” a war poem written during World War I by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae. The ceremony ended with the group singing “God Bless America.”

Established into law by Congress in 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance, asks Americans, wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day, to pause in an act of national unity for a duration of one minute. As noted by the National Moment of Remembrance Act, “Congress called on the people of the United States, in a symbolic act of unity, to observe a National Moment of Remembrance to honor the men and women of the United States who died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.”

The time 3 p.m. was chosen because it is the time when most Americans are enjoying their freedoms on the national holiday. The Moment does not replace traditional Memorial Day events; rather, it is an act of national unity in which all Americans, alone or with family and friends, honor those who have fallen while serving in the U.S. military.

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