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‘Honoring Our Fallen’ remembers 6,944 service members on Memorial Day

A bouquet of roses, left to remember the dead, adorns the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sept. 17, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Bernardo Fuller/Released)

The Orange County men – armed forces’ members who died in combat – were among 6,944 whose names were read Monday morning in Garden Grove during a Memorial Day ceremony.

In recent years, the names of those who have died since 9/11 while in service to their country have been read by a memorial wall at Rosie the Riveter Park in Long Beach. But traditions change in the time of coronavirus.

Veterans and other representatives from the military, local law enforcement and other supporters gathered for the reading of names outside the home of Laura Herzog, whose residence serves as the headquarters for her group, “Honoring Our Fallen.”

“Memorial Day is one day for our nation to stop and pause as a community, as a nation, as a family, to remember that our freedom is not free,” Herzog said after the ceremony.

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Their names also inscribed on a wall at the Long Beach Park that was built by Herzog’s nonprofit. Honoring Our Fallen helps families with the process of burying their fallen soldiers.

On Monday, the group also announced the upcoming designation of the 605 Freeway at Katella Avenue as the “Army Sergeant Thomas R. MacPherson Memorial Interchange.”

MacPherson, a Long Beach resident and Los Alamitos High School graduate, was killed Oct. 12, 2012, during a firefight in Afghanistan. He was 26.

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© 2020 The Orange County Register