Easy Reader News
Memorial Day ceremonies at Redondo Beach’s Veteran’s Park are traditionally dedicated to those who gave their lives in service of the United States.
This year, organizers also paid tribute to a young man who never got the chance to do so.
Vincent Barbee, a Redondo Union High School student, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet, and son of former Councilwoman Martha Barbee was honored with a commemorative brick in the city’s memorial plaza and recognition by Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi during Monday’s ceremony. Barbee died in March, after falling from his family’s third story balcony at their Esplanade home. He was 15 years old.
“I’m sorry he did not grow up to have the chance to give his life like so many had,” Martha Barbee said. “He would have done so willingly, and with great honor.”
During World War II, Michael Cushing’s great uncle, First Lt. John Liekhus, was shot down over Germany. Working with the Defense Department, Cushing’s family was able to locate the crash site where Liekhus and his air crew’s remains were found.
Though Liekhus’s remains were not positively identified, Cushing was convinced when his great uncle’s Marian Medal – a Catholic symbol honoring the Virgin Mary – was found at the site.
“Once I saw that, I knew everything was done and just fine,” Cushing said. This summer, Liekhus will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
Congressman Ted Lieu, Assm. Muratsuchi and members of the Redondo Beach City Council were also on hand during the ceremony.