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Crowds of parade viewers lined the sidewalks on Atlantic Avenue in North Long Beach, from Harding Street to 56th Street, to watch military veterans and active servicemen and women march the route along with High School Bands, equestrian units and service groups.
For some attending the parade, it was their first look at the North Long Beach Redevelopment area since buildings purchased by the RDA have been removed to make way for new development and housing structures.
Councilman Val Lerch was the master of ceremonies for the post-parade ceremony in Houghton Park. It was standing room only for those that came to hear from the parade's Grand Marshals, which included Captain J. Kipling Louttit, Commanding Officer of Coast Guard Integrated Support Command San Pedro on Terminal Island; Marine Corps Lt. Col John J. Sega; Christopher S. Martin, decorated veteran and current LBPD officer working in the Office of Counter-Terrorism, and ADC Clifford A. Chaffee, a 91 year-old veteran of WWII and Korea and long-time North Long Beach resident who served in the Navy for more than 21 years.
The highlight of the ceremony was the dedication of the new mural honoring Veterans. Located on the southeast corner of Harding Street and Atlantic Avenue, the mural, by renowned artist and muralist Art Mortimer, sits across the street from the Vietnam Memorial in Houghton Park, which features a Huey helicopter. The Veterans mural depicts emblems of all branches of the military and includes portraits of local veterans from numerous eras and military branches.
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