Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina joined local veterans and other dignitaries today for a ceremony at the new Grand Park Community Terrace and Flag Garden to commemorate the eleventh anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
“This reconfigured Community Terrace and Flag Garden pays tribute to our American history and heroes,” Molina said. “It is situated in the center of Grand Park which, in turn, is located in the heart of our Civic Center. The flags are a perfect symbol of our collective memory of the first responders as well as the civilian victims of the September 11th attacks.”
Featured at today’s ceremony was Private First Class Bea Cohen who – at the age of 103 – is America’s oldest living female World War II veteran. Cohen joined other veterans to raise the flags during this morning’s ceremony.
Prior to Grand Park construction, flags in the Flag Garden (previously known as the “Court of Flags”) were configured from East-to-West. Now, the flags are placed North-to-South to increase their visibility as travelers drive or walk along Hill Street or Broadway. As Grand Park came to life, all original flags were carefully preserved so that today’s park visitors can enjoy them in all of their glory.
At 12 acres total, Grand Park stretches from the Music Center on the West to City Hall on the East. Blocks One and Two – which include a renovated Arthur J. Will Memorial Fountain as well as several small gardens and a small event stage – opened in July. Block Three, which includes the Community Terrace and Flag Garden, opened today. Block Four, which includes a small dog park and a massive event lawn directly in front of City Hall, opens later this October. The total cost of the park is $56 million – which Sup. Molina was instrumental in securing from The Related Companies, developers for the Grand Avenue Project. More details about Grand Park are available at grandpark.lacounty.gov.
Today’s ceremony began with a welcome by Brigadier General Ruth Wong; the National Anthem sung by Kelley Jakle; a benediction by Fire Chaplain Richard Dominguez; and music at the start and conclusion of the ceremony performed by the Air National Guard Band of the Southwest Brass Quintet. In addition to Sup. Molina, local civic officials in attendance included L.A. City Councilwoman Jan Perry; L.A. County CEO William T Fujioka; and L.A. County Fire Chief Daryl Osby, who directed both the flag raising ceremony as well as the lowering of the flag bells.