Flags and flowers are placed where the fallen now rest.
Today there was a moving Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. I attended.
Here are some photos. Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, located on Point Loma high above the Pacific Ocean and San Diego Bay, is the final resting place of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, and their families, who served their country with courage and honor. Many who are buried in this hallowed place fought in different conflicts spanning our nation’s history, right up to the present-day War on Terrorism. Because of its amazing natural setting, many say Fort Rosecrans is more beautiful than even Arlington or Normandy. As you can see, it’s a special place.
A Memorial Day rose adorns a solemn grave marker at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
American flags at the grave markers around the USS Bennington Monument. The granite obelisk remembers those sailors who lost their lives when the warship’s boiler exploded in San Diego Bay in 1905.
Love and respect are shown for those in the military who pledged to protect their countrymen, and defend freedom. They are honored on Memorial Day.
Walking among silent rows of white. Many gave the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.
Many old granite markers at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery recall decades and centuries of history.
A marker reads: “Lydia Hunter died from complications resulting from the birth of her only child, a son named Diego Hunter, the first American born in San Diego. Diego was born 20 April 1847, Lydia died 6 days later. May we honor her and each of those women who served with the Mormon Battalion.” Members of the Mormon Battalion made the longest military march in U.S. history. They marched over 2000 miles from Iowa to San Diego in 1847.
People assemble in front of the rostrum where the Memorial Day service will be conducted at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
People from all walks of life have gathered together to honor those who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
While people take their seats before the opening and introduction, Marine Band San Diego provides music.
The color guard comes forward. Those attending the ceremony sing the Star Spangled Banner and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Some patriots in the crowd wave small flags.
Veterans salute. Respect is shown for the flag.
The color guard exited along the side where I sat, allowing me to take a couple of good photographs.
Members of a high school ROTC program carry the United States and California flags.
Folded flags are presented to families of fallen heroes. Everyone watching was very attentive and quiet.
An address about different forms of love during Memorial Day. The moving speech was given by Major General O’Donohue of the 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton.
Ceremonial wreaths approach the rostrum. Many organizations presented wreaths, including the Knights of Columbus shown here.
Various ceremonial wreaths are displayed in front of the assembled people. Tokens of love, gratitude and respect.
Finally, taps is played while the cemetery flag is lowered to half staff. Salutes included three rifle volleys, a musket volley, and a cannon.
A bagpiper, after playing Lament for a Soldier, exits across the green grass, where the fallen lie eternally.
The ceremony is over, and those visiting the cemetery fan out to pay their respects. The Marine Band remained seated for a bit of concluding music.
A Navy officer walks down a cemetery driveway, which overlooks the channel entrance to San Diego Bay.
Walls around the cemetery contain columbarium niches for cremated remains. Naval Air Station North Island and downtown San Diego are visible in the background.
Walking along the columbarium. Its plaques identify loved ones.
These two guys had bouquets in their backpacks. They are gazing along the Point Loma peninsula in the direction of Cabrillo National Monument.
A deeply moving sight. Solemn rows of white on rolling green hills. Volunteers have provided every grave with an American flag and rose.
Member of the next generation among those who came before.
The living walk thoughtfully through Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego.
More grave markers and a small plaque nearby.
The markers in this memorial area honor veterans whose remains have not been recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and the ashes scattered.
After the Memorial Day ceremony, some people linger to view the floral tributes and the flag-draped Casket of the Unknown Soldier. The plaque behind the rostrum contains President Lincoln’s famed Gettysburg Address.
And now almost everyone has departed.
Plaque near Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery entrance has lines from The Bivouac of the Dead, a poem by Theodore O’Hara.
The main entrance plaque at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. The flag flies at half staff.
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery is also a California Registered Historical Landmark.
Several monuments near the cemetery entrance memorialize tragic events in U.S. military history, including ships lost in action.
Flags in the breeze. A cloudy day. People atop the hill gaze down at the eternal ocean.
Looking beyond grave markers toward a hazy blue horizon.
A beautiful old tree rises from the Earth. Life persists.
A slow, thoughtful walk.
Youth replaces a red rose that was blown by the wind to the ground. He doesn’t realize that someone is watching.
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