Desks, Assignment Desks, Education Reporters
Veterans Day Ceremony, Los Angeles Mission College
Thursday, November 7, 2002 - 10-11 a.m.
Quad - Los Angeles Mission College, 13356 Eldridge Avenue, Sylmar
Mission College will honor a local hero when it holds its annual Veterans
Day ceremony on November 7. Private First Class David M. Gonzales, the
first Los Angeles County resident to receive a Congressional Medal of
Honor during World War II, will be remembered for heroic actions that
saved the lives of five companions in the Philippines. Gonzales, a Pacoima
resident, was fatally wounded while digging out his comrades, who had
been buried alive when a bomb struck their camp. Gonzales was posthumously
awarded the Medal of Honor by President Harry S. Truman in 1945.
Keynote speakers will be Gonzales son, David Junior, and David Juniors
wife, Beatrice. The two will describe their efforts to correct an error
they say has caused the family much emotional pain. A photo of a soldier
who is not Gonzales, but is identified as that of the medal winner, has
been erroneously displayed in the Pentagons Hall of Heroes for the
last 50 years. Consequently, this mistake has been replicated over the
years in other shrines, veterans publications and Web sites. Representative
Howard Berman, who has assisted the family in its efforts to correct the
mistake, will also speak. He is expected to present to the family medals
that were awarded to Gonzales, but which have never been delivered.
The ceremony also will feature presentations by JROTC units from Kennedy
and Monroe high schools, the All Veterans Burial Squad of San Fernando
and the Sylmar Elementary School chorus. The public is invited to attend.
Los Angeles Mission College holds a Veterans Day Ceremony annually to
mark its close ties with veterans in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Each year, Mission College serves more than 400 veterans who come to the
campus with questions about their benefits and about educational and career
opportunities available to them.