Across San Diego County many chose to head to the beaches on Memorial Day, a scene much different than it was a year ago early on during the coronavirus pandemic.
Popular Coronado Beach was visited by out-of-town tourists and locals alike.
"This is probably the most crowded I've seen the beach in the last year, or year-plus -- 14 months or so," San Diego resident Ken Thomas said. "But still there's a lot of clean open sand and it's still a great day."
Some visiting also shared with NBC 7 how they reflected and observed Memorial Day.
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"In Coronado we can literally see the jets landing at the air base right there and it's definitely a day to remember everybody whose sacrificed for us to have this freedom to enjoy the beach," said Alan Walter of San Diego.
Families from across California and nearby states were also visiting San Diego, including a family from Phoenix, Arizona, who traveled with World War II veteran Sid Singer, 97.
"I was a pilot and I was an active machine gunner on a B24," Singer said.
Singer served in the Air Force and reflected on what Memorial Day means to him.
"I feel for the poor ones that we lost during the service," he said. "I was one of the lucky ones, so I'm very grateful, very grateful just about what anybody does."
Nearby the popular Hotel del Coronado was seen with the American flag at half staff.