Veterans Day event is set for Nov. 8
Veteran Allan Kumlin is organizing the annual event at Hesperia Lake Park
For Allan Kumlin, 11-11 ranks about as high as 9-11.
Actually, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month Kumlin will be with his fellows honoring our military veterans.
While those serving today are usually thanked for their service, when Kumlin came home from his second deployment as a U.S. Navy sailor he wasn't greeted with a parade. Upon his disembarkment in San Francisco in the wake of the tumultuous 1960s, he was literally spat at.
"It's different for me than most people," Kumlin said. "When we came back from Vietnam we weren't very well received."
Kumlin is the organizer of the local Veterans Day ceremony, which will take place at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 8 at the war memorial dedication site at Hesperia Lake Park. The event is sponsored by the Hesperia Recreation and Park District, Point Man International Ministries and the Hesperia Garden Club.
Kumlin moved from the Los Angeles area to Hesperia in the 1970s.
"I came up here for the clean air and water. I didn't go back."
In the 1980s in Victorville, Kumlin attended his first meeting of the Point Man Ministries, which offers spiritual healing for those suffering from post traumatic syndrome disorder. Run by veterans from "all conflicts, nationalities and backgrounds," Point Man conducts group meetings, makes hospital visits, and provides speakers to address churches and veterans groups.
He was instantly hooked on the camaderie, and Kumlin has increasingly become involved in the group.
"I'm the coordinator for California," he said.
Saturday's event will feature presentations by Blue Star Mothers, an organization of mothers with children in the military, and Gold Star Mothers, which have lost a son or daughter during military service. A plaque will be dedicated in honor of those who served and died. Glen Speer of the International Banana Museum who served during World War II will address the audience. Park board member Bob Chandler will release the white doves he has been training over the past year. Attendees also will sing patriotic songs.
Plans are underway for additional special guests and presentations.
The event's finale will feature a bagpipe player performing "Taps."
"If that doesn't tug at your heart you're not breathing," Kumlin said.
Hesperia Lake Park is at 7500 Arrowhead Lake Road, Hesperia.