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Barbecues, Live Jazz, Colorful Fireworks and More!

Written By: Kiersten Morris  Manhattan Beach Salute the Troops
Photography By: Victoria Filice

America the beautiful! We all enjoy the Fourth of July holiday. The barbecues, fireworks and getting together with family and friends, but Independence Day holds a very special place in America and our hearts. On Sunday July 2, Manhattan Beach at Polliwog Park hosted their 3rd Annual Salute the Troops picnic/concert to celebrate the troops here in the California area. This is a time where locals can give thanks to and honor the men and women who risked their lives on the front line for us. The men and women who continuously fight for peace in our country. At this event we gave thanks to all the veterans who served and active-duty military that are currently serving in the line of duty.

The picnic began a little after 5 p.m. First we all stood to say “The Pledge of Allegiance” followed by an announcement acknowledging all the lines of duty being served while asking the men and women to stand as we salute, applaud and give our thanks for all that they do. Shortly after the Air National Guard Band of the West Coast played jazz music to get the crowd going. This set the tone for the rest of the night.

The crowd was very casual and calm. There had to be close to 1,000 or more families in attendance with a giant beach ball being tossed around by the crowd. Families brought their picnic baskets, blankets and lounge chairs equipped with all the summertime classics like sandwiches, salads, fruits, soda pop, wine and beer.

It was really great to see all the families together celebrating our men and women in uniform who are serving in active-duty or have served in the past. I had the chance to witness first hand what this particular event meant to most of the families that came out to show their love and support to their loved ones. Pamela Rogers, a local of Venice Beach, came out to honor her husband, Kevin Rogers, who is currently serving in the Air Force. “I really love and admire my husband and the work that he does for us at home and our country; he is a stand up guy, amazing husband and phenomenal father,” she said. “Although the kids and I miss him from time to time we know he’s out there striving to make the world a better place for our children and others all over.”

The Tanner family attended to honor a fallen soldier of the Army in 2014 by the name of Paul Tanner. Becky Tanner, his mother, said, “Paul was a natural born hero, born one and died one.” His father, Joseph Tanner joined in to add, “Paul did anything he had to do to try and make this country great again. We are here to honor our son and all that he has done on earth when he was alive; this is for Paul and everyone out here being celebrated just like him.”

This picnic represents loyalty, honesty and integrity. This is a concert to celebrate and honor the men and women in South Bay who have and are serving their country. Special thanks to The City of Manhattan Beach Parks and Recreation Commission and Department partnering with the Manhattan Beach City Council to honor the South Bay men and women who made the sacrifice to risk their lives on a daily basis for our country. Thank you, and we salute you!

Salute the Troops Manhattan Beach Salute the Troops
1601 Manhattan Beach Blvd  Manhattan Beach Salute the Troops
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 Manhattan Beach Salute the Troops
Manhattan Beach Honored America With Fireworks, Grilled Burgers and Live Jazz Music at Annual Salute the Troops