The mood was sublime tonight (Tuesday night) at the packed Temecula City Hall Council meeting.
"Pechanga Pu'eska Mountain Day" was proclaimed tonight to be November 15, 2012, "and every November 15th thereafter." Eleven "whereas" clauses culminated in a "Now, therefore, in heartfelt recognition - - -" conclusion (profound thanks to Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians).
A long, moving, formally printed proclamation in plaque form was presented to Pechanga Chairman Mark Macarro and the Tribal elders by our Council. It was also available in handsome color printed scroll format suitable for framing to all tonight's Council meeting attendees.
In the attached photo, Supervisor Jeff Stone presents Chairman Macarro with a beautiful statue of an eagle "that (eagles) will live forever now in the safe, pristine sacred mountain overlooking our Valley."
We all realized history had been and was being made, and our bonds cemented with our friends and neighbors, the incredible Pechanga Tribe. One of the speeches cited the indomitable fighting will of Temeculans, in our unique, fiercely defended Valley after the emotional roller coaster of the last seven years. We are a force to be reckoned with by our enemies.
Memorable vignettes tonight were numerous such as three generations of Mayor Chuck Washington's family at the dais; Councilman Jeff Comerchero, ever the faithful public servant, cheerfully serving potato salad onto our delectable hot dog dinner platters; Temecula's indomitable hero, 82 year old Ken Johnson, who showed up at every SOS meeting, Duck Pond weekly sign wavings, with signs, cameras, in orange garb. He even wrote books about us. Tonight he was smiling and laughing as always, freshly recovered from a sudden heart attack caused by the joy and excitement of the incredible news that was suddenly released at 1 P.M., November 15th, 2012.
It was the day that changed Temecula forever, and will therefore be commemorated forever every November 15th.
—Nicholas Biddle, Jr., Temecula, CA 92591