Long Beach erects new lifeguard tower symbolizing gay pride to replace one burned in suspected arson

Local news
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilwoman Cindy Allen, flanked by lifeguards Devon Bebee, left, and Jeremy Rocha, on June 10, 2021, to celebrate the unveiling of a new rainbow-colored lifeguard tower at Long Beach to replace the one that burned down in March. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia and Councilwoman Cindy Allen, flanked by lifeguards Devon Bebee, left, and Jeremy Rocha, on June 10, 2021, to celebrate the unveiling of a new rainbow-colored lifeguard tower at Long Beach to replace the one that burned down in March. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

When Long Beach resident Rich Charley heard on the morning of March 23 that the city’s rainbow lifeguard tower had been destroyed in a fire, he decided to see the smoky skeletal remains for himself.

“It hit me personally because I’m a vet that’s gay, and of all the places, the gay life[guard] tower gets burned to the ground,” he said.

But the community soon responded, and on Thursday afternoon, Charley was among dozens gathered at Shoreline Way and 12th Place for a festive unveiling of a new tower. It was painted by city lifeguards, just as the first had been last June in honor of LGBTQ Pride Month.

People waving pride flags cheered as a billowing blue tarp was dragged off the brightly colored tower and a red rescue can was hung on its deck — signaling it was in business.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Most Popular

Latest News

More News