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    Extended Coverage

    2006 LB Veterans Day Parade Includes Dedication Of Veterans Mural

    (Nov. 12, 2006) -- LB's annual Veterans Day Parade, cited by organizers as Southern California's only Veterans Day parade, drew crowds to NLB on November 11....

    ...and this year featured the dedication of a Veterans Mural covering the entire north side of a building on the SE corner of Atlantic Ave./Harding St. adjacent to Houghton Park. The mural honors all servicemembers and depicts a number of servicemembers...including Bronze Star winner/former 9th district Councilman Jerry Shultz, and USAF veteran/grassroots supporter Dan Pressburg (mural close-ups in photos below) and others who were instrumental in creating LB's Veterans Parade and making it an annual tradition. provides extended coverage of the parade, the mural and its dedication ceremony below .

    A Coast Guard vessel heads up Atlantic Ave...and yes, that's 9th district Councilman (and USCG veteran) Val Lerch in the street alongside her. As in previous years, Councilman Lerch ditched vehicular transportation and greeted parade watchers personally.

    Taking part in his first Veterans Day Parade as the City's chief executive, Mayor Bob Foster greets the crowd along with Councilman Lerch.

    Vice Mayor Bonnie Lowenthal exited her car and greeted parade-watchers.

    [Escalating digital camera difficulties apparently caused us to miss 2d district Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal whom we saw at the event later.]

    Yes, that's LB's Mounted Police...and leading the way (right side of photo) is LB Chief of Police Anthony Batts.

    We saw 4th district Councilman Patrick O'Donnell riding with City Prosecutor (Colonel, CA Air Nat'l Guard) Tom Reeves...but our decrepit digital camera refused to respond (not a good sign). Still, we tried to make-do...

    5th district Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske rode atop this fire engine.

    6th district Councilwoman -- now 55th district Assemblywoman-elect -- Laura Richardson was all-smiles.

    7th district Councilwoman Tonia Reyes Uranga with LB Transit official.

    8th district Star Spangled Councilwoman Rae Gabelich alongside her son Guy.

    Thank you, servicemembers.

    [Shortly after snapping this photo, our kaput camera captured its last pixel but a reader [without seeking name credit] lent us her digital camera so we could provide the photo coverage below [thank you!]. We also appreciate a gracious offer by Beachcomber reporter Cindy Frye who saw we were over a barrel and offered to share some of her photos with us; we declined since we had the surrogate camera but the offer was much appreciated.]

    The post-parade events included dedication of a mural by renowned local artist Art Mortimer. The mural spans a 2,168-square-foot wall of a building facing Houghton Park at the SE corner of Harding St. at Atlantic Ave.

    The mural honors those who served in all branches of the U.S. military with representations of service men and women and the seals of all the military services.

    The mural recognizes community members/veterans who worked to create the LB Veterans Parade. On the left side of this depiction is USAF veteran and NLB activist Dan Pressburg. [We're double-checking the names of the other individuals and will add their names here.]

    The mural honors Bronze Star recipient Sgt. Jerry Shultz, showing him in 1969, just returned from Vietnam. His perseverance as LB's 9th district Councilman (1994-2002) made LB's Veterans Parade a reality and established it as an annual event.

    Among those attending the post-parade Memorial ceremony were LBPD Administration Bureau Chief Braden Phillips (Captain USN, ret.), his father, WWII Veteran Norman Phillips and retired LBPD Commander/retired LB Water Commissioner Charles Parks.

    LB activist (and mural depiction honoree) Dan Pressburg with LB Redevelopment Agency boardmember Bill Baker. LB's Redevelopment Agency provided funding for the mural.

    The public and dignitaries assembled for a Veterans memorial and mural dedication ceremony.

    Councilman Lerch took it in stride when the PA system went out, shifting to old fashioned "unplugged" oratory. He said he was honored to have so many recognitions for servicemembers in North Long Beach. Houghton Park is home to LB's powerful Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

    LB Mayor Bob Foster thanked retired Councilman Shultz for starting the Veterans Day parades and Councilman Lerch for carrying them on, and continued:

    "This is a day of thank-yous. Thank you to those who have served, to bring us the point we're at today, to preserve this country. Every time you see someone who's in uniform, everytime that you see someone that you know has served, go up and say thank you. It really is important. It's important to let them know that you care and you're concerned and you understand their sacrifice."

    NLB Redevelopment Project Area Committee chair Martha Thuente detailed how the Redevelopment Agency and NLB community members brought the mural to fruition. She said it was a collaborative effort and thanked mural artist Art Mortimer for his work and LB's RDA for funding the project.

    A 21-gun salute and Taps concluded the ceremony.

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