Veterans, civilians pay tribute to fallen soldiers at LA National Cemetery

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Corey Moore/KPCC

Eliz Dowdy, her daughter Agyna and granddaughter Veronica

Politicians, veterans and civilians paid tribute to fallen soldiers at the Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood. The theme of the 121st Annual Memorial Day program was "Honor and Remembrance."

Navy Petty Officer First Class Archie Folks sung the National Anthem as the crowd, from senior citizens to toddlers, stood. They snapped pictures and waved American flags.

During the tribute, there were flyovers by World War II-era planes, a rifle salute, and a presentation of dispatches from war correspondents, read by actor Jon Voight and others.

Eliz Dowdy, her daughter Agyna and granddaughter Veronica came to the cemetery. Eliz’s late husband Walter Hucks served in the Vietnam War. He was a career soldier, a medic and a member of the Armey’s 101st Airborne – “The Screaming Eagles.”

“I grew up with the idea of not getting married and then I met that spark,” Dowdy said. “So we were married for eight years and we had five children, and if his sons and his daughters can equal the person that he was, I would be very proud of them and I know that he would be also."

Eliz Dowdy says her husband didn’t have to go to war – and she didn’t want him to go. But she says Walter had a strong sense of patriotism – and he chose to go to Vietnam. He died in combat 42 years ago. Eliz says she and her family will continue to honor Walter Hucks each and every year.

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