Arizona Senator John McCain and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney appeared at a tribute at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park.
"Greatness in a people," GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney said Monday, "is measured by the extent to which they will give themselves to something bigger than themselves."
McCain is a former Vietnam prisoner of war and a 2008 presidential candidate.
The two Republicans delivered a subtle message about the military today, and what they see as a need for a new Commander-in-Chief.
"Man's inhumanity to man is an evil that will never be entirely extinct," McCain said during his speech. "No matter how long a peace endures, it is always temporary."
The message Romney wanted taken away was the need for a strong military, and a foreign policy that doesn't imprint on European ideas.
"We choose that course not so that we just win wars, but so we can prevent them," Romney said. "Because a strong America is the best deterrent to war there has ever been invented."
Romney's executive director says today's appearance was not campaign related. However the message left a strong impression on those who attended, including San Diego City Councilmember Carl Demaio, who is running for mayor. DeMaio also spoke during the tribute.
"What I especially love is the realization that America -- the United States -- has gone and saved so many people and saluted and said: 'Good luck', and left," said Rancho Bernardo resident Katherine Humberstone. "That's very powerful. And I'm proud to be an American."
Around 5,000 people were at the free event today, and many people sat atop their car rooftops in order to see Romney and McCain speak.
During the ceremony, a heckler was shouting into the crowd. Once he was dismissed by security, McCain yelled out "Jerk!" The crowd laughed and applauded at his remark.