ABC7/KABC-TV LOS ANGELES PRESENTS THE 131st MEMORIAL DAY CELEBRATION LIVE FROM THE LOS ANGELES NATIONAL CEMETERY
The Annual Event Will Televise Live Without an Audience With Live Broadcast to Air Monday, May 25, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. PDT
KABC-TV, Southern California’s most-watched television station, has joined with the Los Angeles National Cemetery to present the first-ever telecast of the annual Memorial Day celebration. The 131st Memorial Day Celebration will broadcast and stream live from the L.A. National Cemetery without an audience due to the stay-home and social distancing orders stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. ABC7’s Eyewitness News anchor David Ono will host the celebration on MONDAY, MAY 25 (10:00-11:00 a.m. PDT).
The Memorial Day ceremony is one of the largest ceremonies held in Southern California, where local leaders and families have traditionally gathered at the L.A. National Cemetery to pay their respects. Nearly 90,000 service members dating back to the Civil War, including 15 Medal of Honor recipients, are buried at L.A. National Cemetery.
When it appeared the event would be canceled due to the pandemic, KABC began working with the L.A. National Cemetery to produce the ceremony as a distanced experience to continue to support the community in observance of Memorial Day. KABC will use multiple cameras and drones to produce a telecast ceremony of the featured guests’ presentations, performances and dedications to present an engaging, informative and entertaining program for viewers while adhering to social distancing to protect the health and safety of participants.
“The annual Memorial Day ceremony is such an important way for the community to come together and honor the nearly 1.2 million veterans of greater Los Angeles. Despite the challenges of this unprecedented time that prevented a physical gathering, we wanted to preserve the tradition and deliver a way for the community to still safely experience it,” said Cheryl Fair, president and general manager of KABC-TV. “It’s an honor for KABC to help produce and broadcast the 2020 Memorial Day event in its entirety, and we’re proud to support the community in remembrance of service members no longer with us.”
Ono will be joined onstage with keynote speaker Brigadier General Michael Leeney, deputy commanding general of the 40th Infantry Division. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will join the ceremony virtually in a pre-recorded tribute, as well as Congressman Ted W. Lieu who will appear from Washington, D.C., to honor members of the armed forces; Rabbi Ed Feinstein from Valley Beth Shalom Synagogue will lead the invocation, and Monsignor Frank Hicks from St. Basil Catholic Church will give the benediction before the traditional “Echo Taps.” Additional speakers will appear on-site from four stages spatially placed throughout the cemetery to adhere to social distancing.
Additional speakers include the following:
- Jennifer Campbell, American Legion Hollywood Post 43 Commander
- Dr. Stephen Braverman, director, West Los Angeles VA Healthcare System
- Emmett O’Meara, district director for the Veterans Benefit Administration
- Bob Kurkjian, regional president, USO
- (Retired) General Ruth Wong, director of Los Angeles County Military Affairs
- Jere Romano, Ronald Reagan Palisades Post 283 Commander
- Jimmy Weldon, WWII Veteran and retired voice of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Yakky Doodle
- Lindy Sisters, swinging songstresses, will perform the “Star-Spangled Banner,” “I’ll be Seeing You,” “The Miliary Branch Melody” and closing song “Amazing Grace.”
The 2020 ceremony will air live exclusively for the first time on ABC7’s linear broadcast and stream on abc7.com and the new ABC7 Los Angeles connected TV apps for Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Apple TV, and Roku.
About KABC Los Angeles
ABC7 Los Angeles is Southern California’s No. 1 local news and information source. ABC7 is a leader in digital and social audience engagements and was the first station in the Los Angeles market to regularly broadcast news in high definition and also the first local television station in the United States to surpass 2 million Facebook followers. The station’s offices and studio are located in Glendale, California.