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Tehachapi honors its fallen with Memorial Day parade and ceremony

Posted at 5:47 PM, May 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 20:47:16-04

TEHACHAPI,Calif. — Many people throughout the country on Memorial Day came together to pay tribute to the men and women who gave their lives, fighting the greater good.

Even right here in Kern County several ceremonies honored the fallen. One was the annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony in downtown Tehachapi.

The windy and chilly temperatures in Tehachapi did not stop the more than 300 people who made up its 2019 Memorial Day parade.

“The most important thing is you remember your fallen and they are the ones we are celebrating today,” said James Davis, aka Pops, a Vietnam veteran.

The parade included law enforcement, service personnel and other familiar community faces.

“The community does take this seriously and appreciate it and I am very happy to see all these people still out here on what some people would call a cold day,” said Dale Hawkins, a veteran.

The parade began on F street and concluded at Philip Marx Central Park where the ceremony was held.

Laura Wagner, participated in Monday’s events for the first time. She tells 23ABC News that she has a son and daughter-in-law who are serving in the National Guard and says she was called to be here.

“I heard the music and I knew I needed to be a faithful American and come over and support,” said Wagner. “And no matter what the weather was that I can make difference just by being here.”

New additions to this year’s presentation included, a poem reading of “In Flanders Fields” and the reading of the “13 Folds of the Flag.”

“There are ten to 12 different participating] organizations, veteran organizations, and volunteer organizations in Tehachapi,” said Kevin Davey, organizer of the parade and ceremony.

“It starts about six months out and we are trying to find new and different things to incorporate the history and time honored traditions that we do.”

Wreaths were also placed to honor all branches of the services along with the traditional reading of the names of veterans who passed away this year.

“We need to remember otherwise we completely live in the present and don’t remember where we come from,” said Wagner. “And when we remember that then we are grateful for the day that we are in the present with.”