World War I ended 100 years ago Sunday, and the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association held special dedications for the cease fire anniversary.
The main event began at 2 p.m. Monday at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.
A handful of speakers from different service backgrounds spoke.
One of the speakers, Marc Bailey, an El Cajon Police Reserve Sergeant, told a story of a text message exchange between his friend and her father, a major in the army.
The father texted he was in South Korea “just doing army stuff.”
“There’s folks all over the world doing ‘stuff’ for us today,” Bailey said. “We want to make sure that we honor them, and we remember them while we’re up here on this Veterans Day.”
Bailey also spoke to the history of San Diego’s military presence.
“Bring somebody up on Mt. Soledad for the first time,” he said. “Wander the walls, look at some of the stories up here, and soak all that in, because there’s such a rich, wonderful history here in San Diego.”
President of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Association CDR Louis J. Scanlon, USN Ret. spoke about a special honor the organization was giving to a WWI war hero.
Sergeant Major Daniel Daly fought and led in WWI, and Monday, a plaque in his name was added alongside thousands of other veterans at Mt. Soledad.
“Today, we will dedicate a plaque to Sergeant Major Daniel Daly,” Scanlon said. “Dan Daly’s plaque will join over 5,000 plaques here at the memorial of both living and deceased veterans from the revolutionary war through today’s current wars and conflicts.”
Daly was one of only 19 people to receive two Medals of Honor, and one of only seven marines, said Colonel Charles Dockery. He is the Commanding Officer of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
“He was a seasoned veteran leading young enlistees in combat,” Dockery said. He then quoted Daly’s famous expression, “Do you want to live forever?”
This “grizzly” attitude, Dockery said, was a key component in leading the young enlistees to victory.
Mayor of San Diego Kevin Faulconer spoke later about the evolution of Veterans Day.
“While the original observance of Veterans Day was established as a day of recognition of the brave veterans of that great war [WWI], we now have many other battles,” Faulconer said. “We remember their patriotism when they faced insurmountable challenges.”
Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 as a reminder to honor all U.S. veterans, the mayor said.
“This Veterans Day promises to be a special day observing one of the most important days of the twentieth century,” said Phil Kendro, chairman of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Day Committee.
The Marine Band San Diego played at the event.
Four vintage planes from the San Diego Performance Formation Team flew overhead of the hilltop memorial near the end of the event.
“It’s an atmosphere of celebration. It’s an atmosphere of honor,” said Dockery.
The hour-long event is part of an annual tradition at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.