LDS join Veteran's Day tribute in Los Angeles

Latter-day Saints in Southern California played major roles in Los Angeles's Veteran's Day tribute, providing verse as well as choral music and composition to honor men and women who have served in the U.S. military.

Also participating in the event were Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, a Korean War veteran, and well-known actor Charlton Heston, a veteran of World War II.Among the guests of honor, each one representing a U.S. military conflict since World War I, was Michael K. Parson, a veteran of Vietnam and director of the LDS institute of religion adjacent to the University of Southern California.

Brother Parson read a poem he had written honoring those who have served their country. He concluded by saying, "Because in offering their gift to man, they really gave to God."

Members of the Southern California Mormon Choir, under the direction of Douglas Custanct, sang four patriotic numbers during the program: "The Star Spangled Banner," "America, the Beautiful," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and "So Many Voices." This last patriotic musical number was written by Robert Brunner, a member of the Santa Monica 2nd Ward and high councilor in the Los Angeles California Santa Monica Stake.

Mayor Riordan, commenting on the contributions of individuals and groups involved in the program, added, "It is voluntarism that is revitalizing our city and turning it around." He then thanked the choir for their participation.

Charlton Heston read from the Gettysburg Address, which he called "the greatest speech in the English language." He commented on the parallels between the current veteran's commemoration and Abraham Lincoln's visit to the field of Gettysburg, where he dedicated a cemetery to honor the lives of men from both the North and South who had died during a three-day battle there.

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