November 11, 2018 - Armistice Centennial Event - Victory Memorial Grove
Elysian Park, Los Angeles, California
At 11 o'clock on Armistice Day, November 11th in a place called Victory Memorial Grove participants in a very special event used cell phones to hear the ringing of the "Bells of Peace." Thus marked the beginning of the Los Angeles Armistice Centennial Event in Elysian Park to remember and commemorate the end of WW1 a century earlier.
On Armistice Day, November 11th (now referred to as Veteran's Day,) on the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, the Citizens Committee to Save Elysian Park (CCSEP) and the Los Angeles Department of Recreations and Parks jointly sponsored a Tree planting ceremony at the historic Victory Memorial Grove. A dozen trees were planted in memory of those lost in the war a century ago. Elysian Park's current Victory Memorial Grove was initially dedicated in 1920, but slowly became "forgotten." Loved ones could plant a tree in memory of those lost in the conflict and several chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a monument to relatives of their organization who died during the struggle.
This year's tree planting was dedicated to restoring the historical WWI Memorial Grove, remembering and honoring veterans and loved ones, & reforesting Elysian Park.
As mentioned above, the event began by joining the national commemoration, the "Bells of Peace" being "rung" over a cellphone. The app made available by the United States WW1 Centennial Commission out of Washington DC was a perfect solution for the remote location. Michael O'Brien, Secretary of the Citizens Committee was Master of Ceremonies throughout introducing speakers as well as plans for the site going forward. Opening remarks were given by the Co-President of the CCSEP Phillip Murphy. City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell spoke movingly of his own family's history of military service. The Keynote Speaker was Courtland Jindra, California World War I Centennial Task Force Co-Director who discussed American losses in the war as well as memorial parks that were dedicated in its aftermath. Those who sponsored trees were then invited to share their thoughts.
At the close of the "formal" proceedings Jindra invited everyone to take in the monument at the top of the hill. Then Councilman O'Farrell and Murphy planted the last tree (the others being sewn the day before by Parks employees) and attendees were invited to participate in a potluck lunch.