Karen Robes160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Hopefully, someday we can bring him home,” said Sanchez’s sister, Faye Gutierrez. Linda Sanchez made the presentation of Airman Sanchez’s long-overdue Purple Heart possible. Along with the former Whittier man’s medal, Sanchez was able to secure never-bestowed medals for two other WWII soldiers, also presenting them at Friday’s ceremony. Symbols and words marked Friday’s event. Brass buttons gleamed from military uniforms. Military flags waved. And the familiar refrain, “For the land of the free and the home of the brave,” was sung by all. “I remember fathers, grandfathers – people,” Los Angeles County Fire Department Chief P. Michael Freeman said. “That’s what Veterans Day is about – people. Men and women doing the extraordinary.” U.S. Army Pfc. George Kuestner of Lakewood also received a belated Purple Heart. Kuestner was part of the 41st Calvary Reconnaissance unit and was wounded during an enemy attack. U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Lawrence Vera of Artesia received a Bronze Star for leading his men through roadblocks and difficult terrain in the thick of enemy territory. ARTESIA – Former Whittier resident Joe Ralph Sanchez, a U.S. Army Air Corps staff sergeant and a gunner for the 391st Bombardment unit during World War II, was ordered to attack a target in Germany during the Battle of the Bulge. Sanchez succeeded in his mission, but his B-26 Marauder was shot down. He remains listed as missing in action. But a visible reminder of Sanchez’s bravery and sacrifice finally came home to his family on Friday. As officials and residents gathered at a Veterans Day ceremony in Artesia, remembering dozens of area veterans, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Lakewood, presented a Purple Heart to Sanchez’s family.
HALIFAX – Five Halifax venues have responded to Tragically Hip rocker Gord Downie’s call on corporate Canada to do more to promote dialogue and reconciliation with Aboriginal people.The Legacy Room initiative, part of the Gord Downie and Chanie Wenjack Fund, announced new locations Friday including a Halifax private school, a university, an accounting outlet, a restaurant and a development firm.Charlene Bearhead, co-chairwoman of the fund, said the spaces will encourage conversations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and raise awareness of the legacy of residential schools.“Being angry or shamed, shaming white people or re-traumatizing Indigenous people, it doesn’t serve us collectively,” she said during an interview.“These spaces are about building relationships and encouraging learning and awareness.”The five Halifax locations, the Armbrae Academy, the Barrington Steak House and Oyster Bar, the library at Dalhousie University, Deloitte Atlantic Canada and the Waterfront Development Corp., join three legacy rooms established in Ontario and aboard the Canada C3 ship travelling from Toronto to Victoria, bringing the total to nine rooms across the country.The host of each Legacy Room has committed to an annual donation of $5,000 over five years, which will go towards grassroots reconciliation programs to support healing and recovery.The fund honours 12-year-old Chanie Wenjack, who died in 1966 after running away from a residential school near Kenora, Ont.The Canadian government launched the residential school system in the 19th century. Over decades, about 150,000 Indigenous children were removed from their homes and sent to religious boarding schools.Away from their families and native culture, many students lived in horrific conditions and endured severe abuse. The impact of residential schools continues to be felt today.Halifax MP Andy Fillmore said the idea of reconciliation in Canada is a way for citizens to realize reconciliation can be part of their daily lives.“The power of the legacy rooms is that they bring reconciliation home right to the middle of our community, at a steak house or at the library, and make reconciliation part of peoples lives on a day-to-day basis,” he said.“It gives them a handle to grab onto and a lever to make change.”The Legacy Room idea is the brainchild of Assembly of First Nations regional Chief Morley Googoo, who represents Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.Halifax Mayor Mike Savage said he’s hopeful the idea will continue to gain momentum in Halifax and across Canada.“The history of our place didn’t begin in the 1600s or with what is called the founding of Halifax or Dartmouth,” he said.“For many thousands of years before the arrival of European ships, the Mi’kmaq have inhabited these lands and while our shared history has many difficult chapters, I believe that we can co-operatively forge a better way forward.”Follow (at)bbundale on Twitter.