The beautifully sculpted commemorative bust of San Diego resident, retired Brigadier General Robert L. Cardenas, USAF occupies a place of honor in Balboa Park. The bust can be found in the Veterans Memorial Garden, a short walk from the entrance to the The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park.
I was on hand to observe the sculpture’s unveiling almost six years ago. The ceremony was held during a Spirit of ’45 event that honored heroes of World War II. To see that inspirational blog post, click here.
I’ve decided to post photographs of the Cardenas bust today because it’s Memorial Day–one of those days when we express our gratitude to all military service members. And because I posted photos of another sculpture by the same artist a couple days ago.
San Diego sculptor Richard Becker also created Liberation, a statue at Miramar National Cemetery. That bronze sculpture remembers and honors Prisoners of War. You can see the emotionally powerful Liberation here.
Brigadier General Robert L. Cardenas, USAF has a list of achievements and awards a mile long. Please read his Wikipedia page here. You’ll learn that in World War II, after he was shot down during a mission over Germany, he swam across a lake into Switzerland to escape capture, then rejoined the fight. You’ll also learn that years later, from a B-29 Superfortress that he piloted, he dropped the experimental supersonic X-1 aircraft flown by Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier.
Behind the bust of Robert Cardenas you can see a sculpture of a B-24 Liberator bomber from World War II. It’s the plane that Robert Cardenas flew during the Second World War.