Veterans Day LA – Thank You!

On behalf of Supervisor Janice Hahn, LA County Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, and Battleship IOWA, thank you for your efforts in making Veterans Day LA a great success!

We received compliments from numerous individuals about how great the event was and your passionate efforts to bring it alive. Supervisor Hahn voiced to me her sincere appreciation for your commitment and was deeply touched by how beautiful the program was.

This wouldn’t have been possible without your commitment and hard work! As with every event, challenges occur – but it is the strength of the team that allows us to overcome them to create a successful program like we did yesterday. There is no doubt that we all noticed minor issues, but remember that the attendee probably didn’t see them! Relish in the success and don’t focus on the failures. We will learn from them to become better in the future!

When recognizing the team, I am always fearful that I will miss someone in my listing. This is one of my greatest concerns, as each and every one of you played an important role in making Veterans Day LA a success. I will attempt to recognize the team below, but please forgive me if I miss someone.

Core Team / Organizing Committee. It was a pleasure to get to work closely with each and every one of you to bring Veterans Day LA to fruition. I was proud to be part of the team that stepped up to the plate and made it happen on tight timeframes! You will forever be part of the Core Team for Inaugural Veterans Day LA! A special shout out to the team members that were in the trenches working through the issues daily and onsite including Nick Ippolito, General Ruth Wong, Stephanie Stone, Lynda Johnson, Matt Johnson, Vince Murphy, Janice Bowman, Mike Dowling, Armando Libya, Regina Nordahl, Kathleen Piche, Liz Odendahl, Lauren Duncan, Phoebe Liu, JeNai Davis, Laurie Baker, Chuck Jester, Danielle Hanne, Jenny Sova, Dennis Lord, Robert Hamm, Dov Cohen, Battleship IOWA Team (Nui, David, Mike G., etc.) and David Tennenbaum. As I mentioned above, I probably missed someone and my sincere apologies.

Supervisor Janice Hahn and Staff. Your commitment to this event went above and beyond! You were an integral part of the team and were always there to make sure the event was a success. L.A. Veterans owe you a debt of gratitude for your leadership in making Veterans Day 2019 a success! Thank you for your friendship and dedication to the veteran community.

LA County Department of Military & Veterans Affairs. We were blessed to have your team and organization fully committed to Veterans Day LA. Your leadership from the initial days of conversation is deeply appreciated and your commitment to ensuring the event was a success was an integral part of making it happen! Thank you for all that you do on a daily basis for our veteran community!

LA County ISD. ISD and their vendors were the quiet unsung heroes of Veterans Day LA. Vince Murphy and his team were a pleasure to work with. They remained calm, flexible, and a joy to work with regardless of how challenging the situation may have been. A special shout out to Triple A Rents for helping the team pick up the garbage bags after the event closed. I personally owe you a thousand more thank you’s then I can ever give you.

Exposition Park. Thank you for your patience and willingness to work with us in bringing alive this event on your property. Thank you for being a community partner and supporting our inaugural year! A special shout out to Rosemary for being supportive and helpful in making Veterans Day LA a reality.

L.A. Memorial Coliseum. Thank you to the Coliseum for flying the American flags and lighting the torch. A special shout out to Janet Gutierrez, who was stage side during the formal program to ensure that the torch was lit at the right time! It was a pleasure to get to know you and work with you!

Sponsors. Thank you to all of the sponsors of this event for seeing the vision and supporting it with limited time to put it together. A special thank you to our key financial partners including Supervisor Janice Hahn, Department of Military & Veterans Affairs, United Airlines, ABC7, Los Angeles Rams, Lionsgate, and Battleship IOWA for supporting the event at a level necessary to make it a success!

Stage Participants. You were the ones that brought the vision alive for the audience! Thank you Phillip Palmer with ABC7 and BJ Lange for taking on the emcee duties and rolling with the punches through the day! Thank you to Commander Lauper for helping organize all of the color guards and being the guy to hand over the flags to the Supervisor. You were awesome! Thank you to the numerous folks involved throughout the day for your role in the event including Supervisor Janice Hahn, General Wong, Congresswoman Gabbard, Captain Alberto Diaz, General Harris, Phil Washington, Ted Tenorio, Elliott MacKenzie, Brenda Threatt, Sgt. Tucker, Larry Geyer, Beach Brass, Dee J Tism, USO Show Troupe, Troy High school drill team, Fleet Easton, Rock 4 Vets, Palishades, Aerial Demonstrations (Dennis Lord), Jimmy Weldon, and Jerome Robinson Sr.

Color / Honor Guards. Thank you to the numerous color and honor guards that made a spectacular opening impact for the event. I can assure you that the stage participants and audience was deeply touched by your performance. Thank you to JeNai Davis and Bill Lauper for helping organize the teams and bringing alive the vision. A shout out to the teams that participated including VFW Wilmington Post 2967, L.A. Army Recruiting Battalion, Troy High School, L.A. County Fire, JROTC’s of LAUSD, L.A. Sheriff’s Department, John C. Fremont High School, American Legion Auxiliary Jackie Robinson Unit 252, USCG, La Verne Lutheran High School, and USC Army ROTC.

Volunteers. Thank you to all of the volunteer teams that came out in force including volunteers from our sponsors to support this event. You helped with the hard work and receive very little recognition for all that you do for the community. Thank you!

Exhibitors and Resources. Thank you to all of the exhibitors and resources that filled the 65 booths. Thank you to Lauren Duncan for helping coordinate their participation! We had more inquiries then we could fill, so my apologies for not being able to accommodate everyone.

The outpouring of support was incredible and the success of the event wouldn’t have been possible without the team effort that it took! I was deeply touched by the support and when I was informed we ordered 400 boxed lunches to support the team (a shout to Chef Jen for adjusting on the fly!) – I was in awe! This was an enormous number of people that brought the event to life and we are forever grateful for your support.

In closing, I am deeply grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support for Veterans Day LA. I am not a veteran, but have been surrounded by veterans on a daily basis for several years through our work on the IOWA and Fleet Week. I became involved after seeing first-hand how deep the connection of veteran comradery and family heal people in pain and mourning. My grandfather was one of those individuals and after losing his wife, he looked for his fellow veterans and former ship to help heal him. He lived another 17 years after that because of the support of his fellow veterans and a renewed sense of purpose.

I am humbled by your commitment to each other and I hope that I can play a small part in showing my appreciation daily while closing the gap that exists between the civilian and veteran population.

My sincere appreciation to each and every one of you! Please feel free to share this as needed.

Kind Regards,

Jonathan Williams
Executive Producer of Veterans Day LA (through Battleship IOWA Museum)
President & CEO | Battleship IOWA Museum
250 S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, CA 90731
Office/Fax: 877-446-9261 ext. 709

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