Members of the military and mourning loved ones turned out for moving ceremonies around the county on Memorial Day.
Services at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery began at 8:45 on Point Loma and featured a performance by the U.S. Marine Corps Band, a bugle call and a keynote address by Brig. Gen. Ron Bailey, who is the commanding general of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot.
"To me, [Memorial Day is] to honor the personnel and all the military personnel who lost their lives in the defense of this country," Vietnam vet Clyde Smith said. "Sometimes we forget that liberty does not come cheap."
"We're all out here to honor our fallen comrades on Memorial Day, which used to be Decoration Day, to decorate all the grave sites and honor all the men and women who have paid the supreme sacrifice so that we can all enjoy the freedom here," said United States Marine Corps Sgt. Major Bill Paxton (Ret.). "It's an honor to be here."
Other ceremonies honoring the region's military members on Monday included a 2 p.m. event at the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial, where a special plaque (there are currently more than 2,700 at the site) honoring U.S. Army Col. Bob Howard, a Medal of Honor recipient and one of the most highly decorated soldiers to serve during the Vietnam War.
Earlier in the day, members of the Vietnam Veterans of America organization were at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, in Balboa Park, where officials read the names of the war dead at a Memorial Day ceremony.