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Solana Beach ceremony honors veterans

SOLANA BEACH — Over a dozen white doves scattered over the periphery of La Colonia Park on Nov. 11, as residents gathered to remember and honor the country’s veterans.

Randy Treadway, commander of the Solana Beach Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Solana Beach, has led the ceremony since 1997. In his opening remarks, he recognized this year as the 100th anniversary of the Armistice Day — which put an end to World War I, and became the foundation of what is now Veterans Day.

All five Solana Beach City Council members, along with unofficial incoming Councilwoman Kristi Becker, attended the event, as well as several firefighters from the Solana Beach Fire Department and members of the city’s staff. Mayor Dave Zito spoke on behalf of the council, to express his gratitude to those in uniform, present “in service and in spirit.”

“We are all indebted to them, forever,” Zito said.

Guest speaker Jasmin Zehic of the U.S. Navy — who is originally from Bosnia and spent much of his upbringing in a refugee camp during the Bosnian War — lauded the multi-faceted work of Navy chaplains, which he said “often goes unnoticed,” and highlighted how his life has changed since moving to the United States and becoming active-duty.

The ceremony brought together various community efforts: The Santa Fe Christian School’s orchestra played a few patriotic medleys and taps, as it has for the past 20-plus years at the ceremony.

A lineup of Camp Pendleton Young Marines stood as color guard and presented the flags. A group of Venture Scouts helped set up the event and sell poppies for donation; and Franco’s Flowers in Leucadia provided a large, red, white and blue flower arrangement.

“Feathers from Heaven,” a San Diego-based dove-release business, provided the birds, which Treadway released at the end of the ceremony.

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