honoring our fallen

A toast for Sgt. Thomas MacPherson, a Long Beach native who was was killed in 2012 in a heavy firefight with enemy forces while leading an assault against an enemy position in Ghazni Province in Afghanistan. The toast was before the dedication in 2016 of the Honoring The Fallen wall at Rosie The Riveter Park.

A Los Alamitos interchange of the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway will be named in memory of a Long Beach soldier killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, it was announced Monday.

The interchange of the San Gabriel River Freeway at Katella Avenue will be designated the United States Army Sergeant Thomas R. MacPherson Memorial Interchange, according to Laura Herzog of honoringourfallen.org.

Born in Long Beach, MacPherson, 26, "was killed by enemy forces on Oct. 12, 2012, during a heavy firefight while conducting combat operations in Ghazni Province, Afghanistan," Herzog said. "He was leading an assault against an enemy position when he was mortally wounded by small arms fire."

It was fitting the announcement could be made on Memorial Day, she said. "As our motto states 'A Hero Remembered Never Dies."'

The group honoringourfallen.org will hold a virtual reading of names of armed forces members who have given their lives in service since 9/11, Herzog said. It will begin live streaming at dawn at www.honoringourfallen.org. The group usually holds the event at sunrise at Rosie the Riveter Park in Long Beach but is unable to do so this year due to the pandemic.

Active duty military, police, first responders and veterans will assist with the reading of the names. A bagpipe tribute is scheduled for 11 a.m., and all names should be completed by 1 p.m., Herzog said.

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