Honoring Our Veterans

Parades, ceremonies, open houses to honor vets

Events and tributes are being held across San Diego Tuesday to honor the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces.

Hundreds of people attended the 22nd annual Veterans Day parade at the Embarcadero.  According to organizers, more than 3,500 current and retired military personnel took part.  The theme was: "The Forgotten War:  Korea."

A sea of crosses were also in place along the waterfront.  The San Diego Veterans for Peace set up a living memorial, planting 500 crosses as part of their "Arlington West" memorial.

Dave Patterson said the event was "to memorialize the troops that have sacrificed their lives for this nation and to show the public what the true impact of war is."

Patterson added that along with thanking veterans, he suggested you ask them about their experience during their service.  Our newspaper partner, the North County Times, asked a handful of veterans how they would like to be honored on this day. 

Marine Cpl.  David Hernandez said, "A handshake and a thank you can be enough."

Retired Gunnery Sgt. James Evans wants to make sure parents get their children involved, saying, "Kids should be given an idea of what really went on. These are the people we really want to reach. How can you be proud of something you don't know anything about?"

And Marine Sgt. Moses Hooper wants people to "donate money, donate blood, donate organs and volunteer."

Tuesday was a very special Veterans Day for some active duty military, as they became U.S. citizens.  Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff spoke to the naturalized citizens on board the Midway, who originally came from many different countries, including Mexico, the Phillipines and Trinidad.

"I'll be able to have better opportunity. There will be so many open doors, now that I'm a citizen," said Alma Santen.

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