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April 17
1930 - Telephone switchboard operator Louise Gipe, heroine of the 1928 St. Francis Dam disaster, tries & fails to kill herself over an unrequited love [story]
Louise Gipe


The Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard presented RAGNARÖK, the 10th Annual Valencia Marching Band Tournament at the Valencia High School Stadium on Friday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The event included a “Salute to Our Veterans” ceremony.

The Ragnarok Pride of the Vikings event highlighted the importance of Veterans Day by incorporating hundreds of United States flags around the stadium, handing them out to spectators and inviting special guests to address the crowd. Opening ceremonies for the event began with the presentation of the colors performed by the Valencia High School JROTC Color Guard team during the National Anthem.

Fred Gruchalla, a veteran of the Vietnam War and member of the Santa Clarita Veterans Memorial Committee, addressed the packed Valencia High School stadium thanking veterans and active duty military for their service.

Gruchalla spoke about the importance of Veterans Day and its history. He also addressed the difference between Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day as those holidays are at times confused by some. He ended his speech with the moving poem titled “I am a Veteran.”

Another guest was active duty serviceman Gunnery Sergeant Steven Santiago, 12th Marine Corps District, Musician Placement Director of the Marine Corps Music Program.

As Santiago stood in full dress uniform, he thanked veterans as well as Valencia High for promoting music education by hosting the Marching Band tournament and giving so many young musicians the opportunity to perform and compete. He shared with the audience information on a specialized program called Musician Enlistment Options Program (MEOP) which is an opportunity for those interested to be musical ambassadors for the United States as Marine musicians.

Santiago was accompanied by Sgt. Steve Eliseorabe, Career Advisor Recruiting Station of Santa Clarita, U.S. Marines and team.

The “Salute to Our Veterans” culminated with a rousing recorded Armed Forces Medley that instructed veterans in the stadium to stand when they heard their military branch song played.

“To hear the enthusiastic cheers and witness the heart felt patriotism of the audience as we all applauded each and every veteran that stood was an extremely impactful moment for everyone,” said Terry Collier, Ragnarök Event Chair and United States Navy Veteran. “I am proud that our Band Director, Kelvin Flores, felt so strongly about Veterans Day to make sure that we paid tribute during this tournament.”

VHS Gruchella Collier

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