The City of West Hollywood will honor veterans and active members of the United States Armed Forces during its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 11 a.m. The ceremony will take place in-person at the Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial, located on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Holloway Drive. The Memorial will feature wreaths and American flags as part of the City’s recognition of Veterans Day and the City will welcome community members at the Memorial to pay respects.
This year, the City will be thanking veterans for the service in the military and will focus on bringing awareness and resources to mental health issues that affect veterans. The event will feature the Pledge of Allegiance, a bugler playing Taps, and a moment of silence followed by The National Anthem performed by members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles.
Sal Guarriello Veterans’ Memorial was named after Salvatore Joseph “Sal” Guarriello (March 2, 1919 – April 16, 2009). He was a member of the City Council of the City of West Hollywood, California. He was elected to the City Council in 1990, and re-elected four times. He served four one-year terms as mayor. He was an advocate for West Hollywood residents, protected tenants of low-income housing, promoted West Hollywood’s businesses, and upheld public safety.
Guarriello was drafted into the US Military service in the Second World War on January 1944, two months before his twenty-fifth birthday. He was deployed to Anzio, Italy, where the heaviest beach combats took place. Due to the high bloodshed, and the lack of medical personnel, Guarriello was appointed as a combat medic. On April 19, 1945 Guarriello was wounded during an effort to save another comrade’s life. During a heavy mortar and machine gun battle, a soldier from Guarriello’s company lost his leg from a mortar explosion. As the company was retreating from the battlefield, Guarriello went back into the field to rescue the soldier. While he was showing medical attention to the wounded soldier, a mortar exploded behind Guarriello piercing him with shrapnel in his left arm and upper back. On April 26, 1945, while recovering in a hospital in Florence, the Brigadier General awarded Guarriello a Purple Heart for being wounded in the line of duty.