Tears, pride evident at vets plaza event

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“What can you do?” she asked, wiping her eyes with a tissue. “All you can do is cry.” Saturday’s ceremony paid tribute to all veterans of the past, present and future. There are up to 900 Santa Clarita residents serving in the military today. The day also brought the unveiling of a statue of Willie, a Civil War drummer boy who was 11 when he earned the congressional Medal of Honor. The statue stands less than 5 feet tall and portrays the boy walking and playing his drum, as if captured in time. Visitors sauntered through the park reading hundreds of names of veterans and their families inscribed on layers of bricks that encircled the lawn. Three of those bricks were named for Janine Schulenburg’s husband, father and twin brother. Her brother was 19 when he was killed during the Korean War. “It was such a loss. My brother and I were very close. We knew each other’s thoughts,” said Schulenburg, a Canyon Country resident. “You just have to expect those things when you are serving your country.” Schulenburg belongs to the Historical Veterans Memorial Committee, which has worked for years for this day to come. Members played a role in the park’s development, from theme to design. The park was unveiled last year and is still coming into its own. The 50 trees planted there are still small; the climbing roses and wisteria have yet to fill out. But eventually they will, and the park will provide shade for those looking for a quiet place of repose. Robert Yribe, who drove to the ceremony from Sylmar, has noticed a change in the way he and other Vietnam veterans are perceived compared to when they first returned from the war. He had served on a Navy search-and-rescue ship. He attributes the new-found regard for all vets to the national attention that’s focused on the war with Iraq and the support of troops fighting there. He feels some of that recognition has spilled over to veterans who fought previous wars, including Vietnam. “They are honoring us more,” the 59-year-old said. “Before, we had no respect.” [email protected] (661)257-5254160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEWHALL – Eighty-four-year-old Amelia Ysais watched as her Vietnam-veteran son held his cowboy hat over his heart during a Memorial Day weekend ceremony. Then she burst into tears. She has watched her disabled son wrestle with seizures and other ailments incurred as a combat soldier in a war he was drafted into a week after his older brother Richard came home. The Valencia mother, whose husband Chris fought in World War II, was moved like other residents, veterans and city council members at Saturday’s Veterans Plaza tribute. last_img read more