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December 7
1921 - William S. Hart marries actress Winifred Westover [story]
Bill and Winifred Hart


WesteIn the middle of Old Town Newhall, there is a tranquil plaza on a half-acre of land. You no doubt have driven by it or maybe walked past on your way to William S. Hart Park, but have you ever taken the time to appreciate all the history captured in the plaza? To study the names inscribed on the hundreds of bricks lining the pathway? Or read the bronze plaque sharing the story of Willie, the Drummer Boy?

Veterans Historical Plaza is a sacred place, paying homage to all the soldiers known and unknown who served our great country. It is also the site of our annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Held every Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., community members are invited to join the City Council for a special event honoring our local veterans, active-duty military and their families. Hosted in partnership with local veterans’ organizations, the ceremony includes patriotic musical performances, speakers and the changing of the flags by the Knights of Columbus Santa Clarita Assembly and Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 355. It is an inspiring way to show gratitude to our local veterans.

While you are there, please make sure you take the time to visit the bronze story stations depicting each of our nation’s military conflicts. Standing proudly in the center of Veterans Historical Plaza is Willie the Drummer Boy. The bronze statue is in honor of 11-year-old William J. Johnston Jr. He was the youngest American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, which he received on Sept. 16, 1863, at the age of 13, for gallantry. Also, make time to appreciate the Fallen Warriors Monument. The marble monument is engraved with each branch of the military and the names of all known Santa Clarita veterans killed in action, listed by war, starting with World War I.

Please take a moment this Veterans Day to thank our local veterans for their sacrifice and their service – and find time to explore Veterans Historical Plaza. To our Vietnam Veterans after 50 years, WELCOME HOME!

Mayor Laurene Weste is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at lweste@santa-clarita.com.

veterans plaza

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