Tag: Al Muratsuchi

Memorial Day in Redondo Beach

Memorial Day in Redondo Beach

I don’t believe I’ve ever felt the need to describe myself as having been “emotionally patriotic” before, but that’s frankly the best way I can bring to words part of how I felt during the Memorial Day ceremony I attended today.

The City of Redondo Beach put on the event at Veterans Park this afternoon, which for context is a nice sized park with a memorial statue right next to the Redondo Pier.

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It was all-and-all a lovely event with a rather nice turnout, including political figures like State Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi and Congressional representative Ted Lieu, as well as both veterans and currently serving members of the country’s five military branches.

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My view from the back row at the Memorial Day ceremony.

Part of the reason I came out to the event, besides showing my respect for our country’s fallen, was because my alma mater’s band was performing — including my sister.

They did a great job not just during stand-alone performances like the one above, but punctuating the entire event with pieces of ambiance. For example, the band’s Trumpet Trio took the place of a bugle to play out recognizable military salutes and calls.

However, the National Anthem was what really got to me in an unexpectedly intense way.

Part of that was because it was a very sweet, slow and drawn out rendition being performed, and the high school kids really nailed the emotional delivery.

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The RUHS Wind Ensemble preparing to perform.

But it wasn’t just on them.

When the song started, it was just the band playing against the nearby crashing of the waves and seagull cries. Then, a couple members of the audience began to sing under their breaths, barely loud enough to be heard. It was mostly older folks who I would later see stand during the performance I linked above.

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A more full-scale shot of the audience at the event.

Those few singing members of the audience eventually blossomed into a fervent performance from just about everyone in attendance. It slowly built up throughout the song and left everything to wrap with a unified call for the “home of the brave.”

Totally unprompted. Totally unplanned.

Completely beautiful.

Like I said right at the top of this, I don’t often get very outwardly emotional with heavily patriotic things related to, say, military service. That isn’t to say I’m not emotional of course, it’s just typically a more silent, introverted and somber emotion.

But I actually cried a little at that moment during the ceremony where the audience unexpectedly joined in on the National Anthem.

Because of that and other parts of the event, like the keynote speech by U.S. Coast Guard Captain Jose Penã and the presentation in honor of Vincent Barbee, a local  RUHS student that died not too long ago, I found myself walking out feeling much more deeply moved than I had expected to.

Though the Master of Ceremonies punctuated the beginning and end of the event with jokes about Stormy Daniels and a George Washington impersonator in the audience, so there was also a good amount of chill Southern Californianism to break up the emotional introspection.



As a quick aside, the video I posted in this piece is actually something I took on my iPhone at the ceremony.

Decided to try something new with this blog post since I wanted to upload my sister’s performance directly here, but haven’t exactly been able to in the past because uploading video directly to WordPress is awkward with how much space it takes up. So I tried posting the thing to my unused YouTube account, that way I could link to it.

Hopefully it works as an experiment, because if so that’ll open up the possibility of my doing more video-oriented content in the future.

Just excuse the shaky-cam quality!

 

March 5, 2018 Article Published

March 5, 2018 Article Published

After a couple of days of hardcore convention-ing, it feels nice to settle in for a week of school with your name adorning the paper once again.

As I teased in my ACP post from yesterday, I’ve had an opinion piece worked up over the last week or so that made it to print in today’s weeklong. Only one paper this week — alongside our special Health Issue — because half our staff is going out to New York.

Honestly that’s a double whammy bonus for me. More time for my story to be out on the stands and more time for me to get some homework out-of-the-way that I’ve been desperate to catch up on. Guess I can count that as one more benefit to not making the cross-country trip.

Enough pussy-footing around though. You’re probably all here to see some of my behind-the-scenes looks at what goes into writing an article. Though if you aren’t and you really do prefer me to just ramble on… Just let me know. I’d love to hear why.

Though my second opinion piece for the Titan isn’t exactly as noteworthy as the first one I wrote last semester, I think I honestly had a little more fun putting this one together. It centers around California Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi, my hometown representative actually and a pretty nice guy at that, having put through a bill to the table that would make surfing the official state sport if passed.

Now, I’m not personally super into surfing. I love the beach and I used to surf a bit, but I got pretty traumatized after an incident where I got crushed between a couple of boards during a surfing lesson way back in the day and haven’t really done it since.

Even with that stipulation, I’m not looking to suggest that surfing would be an inherently bad choice for this position. If anything I agree that surfing would make the most sense as a singular sport associated with the state of California. However… I just don’t think it’s right to necessarily boil down an entire facet of a state’s culture into one legislative representative.

There’s a distinction I’m imagining between something like a sport and something like a tree or a flower. Obviously every state has its signature flower or tree, and in a lot of regards that makes sense. Either that flora is common in the area or has some significance for another reason, but it’s easy enough to just say “California has redwood trees. They’re cool. Let’s make that the state tree.”

For human-driven cultural pursuits, I think it’s a little more tricky to pick just one. While surfing is strongly associated with the Golden State, it’s not the only one that holds distinction amongst the people living there. That can go for any state or country really, but it’s especially true for California where (as I note in the story) Big Bear snowboarding and Hermosa Beach surfing are just three or so hours apart.

Essentially my article goes through a number of examples building on the original premise that surfing along doesn’t represent all of California. I talk about beach volleyball. I talk about snowboarding. I talk about basketball. I make a Beach Boys joke.

Because really how could you not with this premise?

Then, once I’ve made a case for why all of those sports could also represent facets of California, I came to the ultimate conclusion that maybe there should not be just ONE single state sport. You discount too much history and culture if you go that route.

After my article was finished, I also decided to get some pictures to accompany it. I live down by the beach after all, so that was an easy thing to get access to. Plus, I get extra points for having photo credits in print. So why not?

Well… If you’ve paid attention to my adventures these past couple of days, you’ll know why not.

That damn bipolar weather.

Really though, outside of the rain this was a pretty fun and easy assignment. I enjoyed the topic and I talked with a source for some background on potential flaws with surfing as a concept who was quite nice.

She even gave me an arts and crafts project… For some reason.

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Still not sure why, but it’s sweet all the same.

If you want to read my article in its entirety, you can check it out here. Or you can see my whole archive of work for the Daily Titan over on the right!

Or, you can always come down to Fullerton to pick it up in person. It’s going to be on racks all week, after all!