With Memorial Day weekend upon us, there are plenty of ways to pay tribute to our U.S. military heroes. Across San Diego County, special events and ceremonies will be held in honor of our fallen service members and veterans.
Legacy Week at USS Midway
Running Saturday through Monday, the USS Midway’s Legacy Week will pay tribute to our military members with several events spanning the long holiday weekend. On Saturday at 9 a.m., the public is invited to the Veterans’ Wreath Remembrance Ceremony, a touching gathering that will honor WWII veterans. The ceremony will include guest speakers, live music and a vintage aircraft flyover from Air Group One/Wings Over Gillespie. All attendees will receive free admission to the Midway museum at the end of the ceremony.
On Sunday and Monday, visitors will have an opportunity to meet military aviators and check out displays of the aircraft they once flew.
On Monday at 12:30 p.m., a Memorial Day ceremony will be held on the USS Midway, hosted by American Legion, San Diego Downtown Post 492. The ceremony will include guest speakers, open prayer, music and a vintage aircraft flyover.
Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial
On Monday, the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial in La Jolla will host a Memorial Day ceremony that includes a special plaque presentation from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Sgt. Rafael Peralta, USMC, a local San Diego Marine awarded the Navy Cross for making the ultimate sacrifice saving the lives of fellow Marines. The event will include retired and active military speakers, military bands and color guards.
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery
This weekend, tiny American flags will be individually placed at each Fort Rosecrans gravesite, honoring each and every military hero buried at the cemetery. Visitation hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Memorial Day. Visit at 3 p.m., when the national moment of remembrance takes place nationwide.
La Vista Memorial Park
After a touching Memorial Day tribute on Monday at this memorial park in National City, attendees can stay and enjoy free food, 1940s-era music, an aerialist performance, a mini-zoo and pony rides for kids.
Alpine Veterans Wall of Honor
On Monday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the 4th Annual Memorial Day Celebration of Honor will be held at the Alpine Community Center Park, home of the Veterans Wall of Honor. The wall currently contains more than 500 tiles honoring veterans, with space to add 400 more in the future. Monday’s tribute will include a flyover of WWII vintage planes.
Wags for Warriors
This Saturday through Monday, the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe will unite orphan pets with military heroes in a large adoption event. The first 50 approved military families will have their adoption fees covered by Animals for Armed Forces. For hours and information, visit the Animal Center’s website or call (858) 756-4117, ext. 313.
A Time to Remember Our Veterans in Coronado
Hundreds are expected Monday at the Memorial Day services in Star Park Circle from 10 to 11 a.m.The tribute includes presentations by active-duty and retired service members, a benediction by a Navy chaplain, a 21-gun salute and the playing "Taps." Guests are invited to a floral tribute and light lunch at the VFW Hall after the ceremony.
Lakeside Service, Barbecue and Candlelight Vigil
The 68th annual Memorial Day Service from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America will take over the Carter-Smith VFW at 12650 Lindo Lane on Monday. Starting at 9 a.m., guests can enjoy booths, displays and music by the USMC Band. The service and reading of California names (post-9/11) heroes begins at 11 a.m. Food will be served at noon,with active-duty service members eating free. Finally, a candlelight vigil at 7 p.m. will raise awareness about the 22 veterans per day lost to suicide.