Patriotism was never more evident in Mission Viejo than during the Aug. 30 World War II Veterans Recognition Luncheon, where about 600 veterans, widows and friends stood tall – honoring those who heeded the call for their nation.
The lively event at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center featured music and patriotic moments and powerful stories like that of a Medal of Honor recipient and a nurse who followed the first wave of troops at the Normandy invasion to administer first aid.
The 34-member 1st Marine Division Band, which was organized during World War II, performed with pride as did the talented Dawn Wright, the “famed voice” of the Los Angeles Angels and Anaheim Ducks.
The idea for the recognition came from local veteran Bill Moynihan, who thought such recognition for WWII veterans was “long overdue.”
“Based on figures released by the Veterans Administration, there were sixteen and a half million men and women who served in World War II; about 90 percent have already died,” Moynihan said. “The mortality rate for the remaining few and often forgotten is estimated to be a thousand per day.”
Armed with that knowledge, a committee was formed that joined forces with various military organizations and other interested community sources to honor, remember, recognize and appreciate these special veterans.
“I’ve been fortunate in my life to have been involved in a few projects that have proved to be very exciting and gratifying,” said volunteer Ron Singer. “I do not hesitate when I say that none has provided the level of satisfaction and pride as having been a member of the WWII Veterans Recognition Luncheon Committee … The committee of 10 individuals, headed by our own Bill Moynihan, worked diligently to help make these special men and women of ‘The Greatest Generation’ have an enjoyable time sharing stories, singing songs and participating in an afternoon of food and entertainment.”
To see footage of this special event, visit http://www.youtube.com/user/MissionViejoCA?feature=watch.