By Bill Reynolds
There’s something I’ve been steamed about since mid November and now it’s time that I publicize my issue. But first, I want to heartily thank our City of Santa Clarita for conducting such an excellent unveiling ceremony of our Fallen Warriors Monument last November 8th. In particular, I must acknowledge Mayor Cameron Smyth for his excellent role as Master of Ceremonies and Councilman Bob Kellar for expertly standing in for me.
As you may know, I had to pass on participating in this ceremony as I had the remarkable opportunity to travel to Vietnam with five other Vietnam War Veterans, including five of the six of us being from Santa Clarita, to meet President Donald Trump. It was an amazing experience sponsored by The Greatest Generations Foundation. Each of us found our president to be gracious, welcoming, humorous, and down-to-earth. We spent considerable spent time with President Trump and his chief of staff, General John Kelly, and we wished them continued success.
While in Vietnam, I received photos and videos from friends and family of the unveiling ceremony, which made my chest swell with pride. I still feel very proud of the outstanding community turn-out and how well the ceremony was accomplished. The portion that touched me most deeply was Ed and Kathy Colley’s tearful reaction upon seeing their sons’ engraved names as that black drape was slowly removed from the monument. Videos revealed much emotion by the Gold Star families who handled the unveiling. Santa Clarita Valley’s 49 fallen warriors will never be forgotten.
I also wish to thank the 200-plus SCV contributors who made this noble project possible, starting with The Signal newspaper for allowing me access into their archives to research articles on our war dead. The Signal strongly supported our project with constant status articles throughout the entire process. Without The Signal newspaper’s support, I’m not sure our monument would have happened. Big kudos go to The Signal’s management and staff.
Donations came in from all quarters of our community during our fundraising drive, of which $57,000 was quickly contributed. There was a serious and conscious effort made to avoid politicizing this beautiful project, in any form. Not one person publicized his/her political affiliation and that held true right up to the very day of our unveiling ceremony.
Very late in the project, one local resident, Anthony Breznican, sent me a text offering to make a personal monetary donation. I declined his offer, as it was already fully funded. He then asked if he could provide donuts and coffee for the unveiling ceremony and I graciously accepted. There was no thought whatsoever that Breznican would interject his personal politics into this sober ceremony by bringing boxes of donuts affixed with 25UP (United for Progress) logos.
When I confronted Breznican about his treachery, he vehemently protested, telling me that he’s the victim due to my lack of appreciation. He flatly refused to admit that he owed an apology to everyone involved.
This was an intentional betrayal. His act was thoroughly deceitful. It’s noted that Anthony Breznican has experience as a USA Today reporter and Entertainment Weekly as a senior writer.
The group’s website says it all: 25UP ( http://www.ca25up.org/ ) founded by a Santa Clarita COC college student. Their website states:
Statement by 25UP’s founder, Phillip Germain
“I’ve been a proud resident of SCV for over 15 years and I have been involved in politics since the ripe old age of 11. I started as an intern and became a campaign finance staffer, doing everything in my power to get Democrats elected. After the pain of November 8th, I decided to found CA25 United for Progress to help people get organized. It has been simply amazing to grow this organization and help so many get engaged to make a difference. When I’m not organizing, you can find me at COC working on my PoliSci degree, taking a flight lesson, or traveling.”
“Convert California’s 25th Congressional District from RED to BLUE.”
This group is a radical left-wing organization that’s been hounding our local GOP elected officials with false signs and advertisements. It’s clear that Breznican and his associates are on a mission to destroy political opponents while attempting to normalize their organization using deceptive methods.
Don’t be fooled by 25UP or the likes of Anthony Breznican.
Bill Reynolds, as president of SCV Veterans Memorial, Inc., spearheaded the Fallen Warriors Monument project.