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Long Beach Waterfront Warriors
July, 2010 Visit

Long Beach Waterfront Warriors 2010 photo

On a sweltering July 24 a crowd of Long Beach residents and volunteers waited at VFW Post 1384, 675 West Park Avenue. The air conditioned hall had tables laden with catered platters; above them hung a large banner welcoming the 2010 Waterfront Warriors to our city.

Long Beach Waterfront Warriors

The two buses arrived, complete with police escort, and as the crowd cheered, the warriors and their families were led into the cool hall to meet and greet new friends and grateful fellow Americans.

Many of the soldiers and their families met their host families, who would be providing them with places to stay, others lived at the Allegria, Long Beach's 5-star hotel, which generously donated accommodations.

Following the welcome buffet was a dinner on the bay, along Magnolia pier.

Long Beach Waterfront Warriors

Sunday morning began at 9am, with a 5k race held in the Warriors' honor. At 3pm, in the west end, a parade made its way along Beech St. to Long Beach Catholic School, and a barbecue with residents, the Warriors and servicemen and women of all generations.

Long Beach Waterfront Warriors 2010 picture 2

The week went by quickly, as the soldiers and their families enjoyed two days at the beach, complete with surf lessons, courtesy of Skudin Surf, catering and a lot of relaxation.

On Tuesday, everyone traveled by luxury bus, once again complete with police escort all the way, to New York City's Liberty Island to visit Lady Liberty, followed by lunch at Ellis Island. Tuesday afternoon was spent in remembrance at the World Trade Center Visitor's Center and Tribute, at Ground Zero.

Each evening brought another dining event: a luau, a turkey roast sponsored by Sugo, a barbecue sponsored by the Long Beach CSEA, and dinner at the Cabana restaurant.

Thursday morning brought a lavish breakfast at the Lido Golf Club, followed by somewhat sad goodbyes tempered by new friendships and warm memories that will last lifetimes.

To the soldiers and your families: thank you for visiting us, and for all your service and sacrifice. We will always remember you, as we will all those who serve.

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