Torrance Armed Forces Day celebration runs through Sunday

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Members of the "Band of the Golden West" stationed at Travis AFB perform in the 48th Annual Armed Forces Day parade in Torrance, CA. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Raheem Moore)

Members of the “Band of the Golden West” stationed at Travis AFB perform in the 48th Annual Armed Forces Day parade in Torrance, CA. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Tech. Sgt. Raheem Moore)

TORRANCE (CNS) – The city of Torrance today kicked off a three-day celebration of the nation’s armed forces with a free concert and an exhibit of military vehicles that will be featured in a parade.

The 55th annual Armed Forces Day Celebration and Parade runs through Sunday in Torrance, which is one of a few cities in the nation designated by the U.S. Department of Defense to hold an official celebration.

“We do it because we need to pay tribute to our American heroes and our city and community is very supportive of that,” Sgt. Robert Watt of the Torrance Police Department said.

The Navy Band Southwest is set to perform at the James Armstrong Theatre Friday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. A parade is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday on Torrance Boulevard starting at Crenshaw Boulevard and ending at Torrance City Hall.

Rear Admiral Patrick Lorge is serving at grand marshal of this year’s parade.

U.S. Navy Cmdr. Brian Kurzeja said he finds the parade special because of the show of support for the military.

“When you have a World War II veteran … sitting in a wheelchair, saluting as you go by, really it is a great event,” Kurzeja said.

He said that members of all the services — the Navy, Marines, Air Force and Army — work together as a team.

“Events like this, Armed Forces Day, show the synergistic effect of our services when we work together,” Kurzeja said.

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