Faces tell stories at Veterans Day parade.

A big parade for Veterans Day this morning in San Diego.

Many different faces, young and old, moving forward together down Harbor Drive. Each face telling a story.

The story of a life filled with pride, courage, honor, sacrifice and friendship.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Two ways to thank those who served and sacrificed.

Today I learned of two ways to thank military heroes who sacrificed part or all of their life in service to country.

I was walking through the Mustang Club of San Diego’s outdoor car show, checking out some of the displays, when I paused to speak to individuals representing two non-profit organizations: Homes For Our Troops and Final Honor.

Homes For Our Troops builds specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 Veterans, enabling them to rebuild their lives. The specially designed homes contain features that assist heroes who have multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or traumatic brain injury.

There are 100 severely injured Veterans awaiting entry into their program. To learn more and perhaps make a donation, click here.

Final Honor provides a complimentary horse-drawn funeral carriage at Miramar National Cemetery. The dignified carriage is available for any Veteran, regardless of rank, whose family would like to enhance the memorial service for their loved one at no cost.

This beautiful, completely free service is made possible through private donations. To learn more and perhaps provide a helping financial hand, click here.

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Military heroes on VFW 2422 Memorial Wall.

The Memorial Wall beside VFW Post 2422 in Coronado, California.
The Memorial Wall beside VFW Post 2422 in Coronado, California.

You can’t miss it. A proud Memorial Wall. You’ll see it near the front door of the General Henry D. Styer Post 2422 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Coronado. Tiles contain the names of heroes who served their country with honor.

Here are some photos.

Tiles on the outdoor Memorial Wall remember those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Tiles on the outdoor Memorial Wall remember those who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
Front of the General Henry D. Styer Post 2422 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Coronado.
Front of the General Henry D. Styer Post 2422 Veterans of Foreign Wars in Coronado.
Plaque on bench reads Dedicated to All Who Have Served or Are Serving in Support of Our Country's Freedom.
Plaque on nearby bench reads Dedicated to All Who Have Served or Are Serving in Support of Our Country’s Freedom.
Plaque at base of flagpole reads In Honor of the Coronado Men and Women Who Served in the Armed Forces in World War II.
Plaque at base of flagpole reads In Honor of the Coronado Men and Women Who Served in the Armed Forces in World War II.
Names on the Memorial Wall include United States Navy Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale.
Names on the Memorial Wall include United States Navy Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale.
Painted on three small stones are words of Thank You for the service of heroes.
Painted on three small stones are words of Thank You for the service of heroes.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

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Photos of the San Diego Veterans Day Parade!

The military was honored in San Diego during the 2017 Veterans Day Parade along the Embarcadero.
Those who have served were honored in San Diego during the 2017 Veterans Day Parade along the Embarcadero.

Late this morning I walked down to the Embarcadero to enjoy the 2017 San Diego Veterans Day Parade. And I got dozens of photos!

An enthusiastic crowd lining Harbor Drive watched one of the largest Veterans Day parades in the United States. San Diego is home to a large number of active and retired military. And those who have served are honored.

Thank you for defending our freedom!

Someone hold a sign that reads Proud Of Our Veterans.
Someone hold a sign that reads Proud Of Our Veterans.
Before the parade, representatives of Naval Medical Center San Diego posed for pictures.
Before the parade, representatives of Naval Medical Center San Diego posed for pictures.
Participants in the parade practice in Waterfront Park near the County Administration Building.
Participants in the Veterans Day Parade practice in Waterfront Park near the County Administration Building.
The color guard awaits the start of the big parade down Harbor Drive.
The color guard awaits the start of the big parade down Harbor Drive.
Dave Scott of KUSI television fires up people waiting in the bleachers.
Dave Scott of KUSI television fires up people waiting in the bleachers.
Everybody is ready for a patriotic parade!
Everybody is ready for a patriotic parade!
Many would watch the parade from across Harbor Drive, near the Maritime Museum of San Diego.
Many would watch the parade from across Harbor Drive, near the Maritime Museum of San Diego. I spotted sailboats out on the bay.
Here we go!
Here we go!
The Marine Corps Band gets things rolling.
The Marine Corps Band gets things rolling.
Marching with pride during the Veterans Day Parade.
Marching with pride and precision during the Veterans Day Parade.
The parade heads down Harbor Drive, along San Diego's beautiful Embarcadero. The parade route continued to Seaport Village.
The parade heads down Harbor Drive, along San Diego’s beautiful Embarcadero. The parade route would finish near Seaport Village.
Here comes the Mount Miguel High School JROTC.
Here comes the Mount Miguel High School JROTC.
A simple heartfelt message. Welcome home to all our heroes.
A simple heartfelt message. Welcome home to all our heroes.
Pageantry and patriotism.
Pageantry and patriotism.
Beauty queens wave, representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lakeside.
Beauty queens wave. They represent the Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Lakeside.
Patrick Henry High School's colorful Spirit of '76 Marching Patriots pause on the parade route.
Patrick Henry High School’s colorful Spirit of ’76 Marching Patriots pause for a moment on the parade route.
Banners fly in the San Diego sunlight.
Banners begin to twirl in the San Diego sunlight.
The Patrick Henry High School marching band wows the crowd.
The Patrick Henry High School marching band wows the crowd.
Here comes the USS Midway Museum contingent.
Here comes the USS Midway Museum contingent.
The kids standing near me loved seeing the big inflatable USS Midway aircraft carrier.
The kids standing near me loved seeing the big inflatable USS Midway aircraft carrier.
And the fighter jet up in the blue sky, too!
And the fighter jet up in the blue sky, too!
San Diego High School's Army JROTC was in the Veterans Day Parade.
San Diego High School’s Army JROTC was in the Veterans Day Parade.
The Young Marines march by.
The Young Marines march by.
Flags raised high from the American Legion truck. They proudly support our Veterans.
Flags raised high from the American Legion truck. They proudly support our Veterans.
Many motorcyclists were also in the big parade.
Many motorcyclists were also in the parade.
Lots of smiles of gratitude from those watching.
Lots of smiles of gratitude from those watching.
This group was keeping the Spirit of '45 alive! Photos of servicemembers who fought in World War II are carried during the parade.
This group was keeping the Spirit of ’45 alive! Photos of servicemembers who fought in World War II are carried during the parade.
Parade participants included young and old alike.
Parade participants included young and old alike.
An All American San Diego Salute for our WWII Veteran Heroes.
An All American San Diego Salute for our WWII Veteran Heroes.
The Vietnam Veterans of America were an important part of the parade. They received loud cheers.
The Vietnam Veterans of America were an important part of the parade. They received loud cheers.
Is that a cool car, or what?
Is that a cool car, or what?
A flag held high.
A flag held high.
Here come the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
Here come the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.
A POW MIA flag follows a group of honored Veterans.
A POW MIA flag follows a group of honored Veterans.
Wells Fargo had their stagecoach in the parade. They saluted heroes who serve.
Wells Fargo had their stagecoach in the parade. They salute heroes who serve.
Hundreds of active duty military based in San Diego now marched past. The crowd thanked every one of them.
Hundreds of active duty military personnel based in San Diego now marched past. The crowd thanked every one of them.
Those serving in military facilities and on Navy ships based in San Diego paraded past.
Those serving in military facilities and on Navy ships based in San Diego filed past.
The Monte Vista High School Monarch Royal Brigade marches by.
The parade goes on. The Monte Vista High School Monarch Royal Brigade marches by.
The San Diego County Veteran of the Year is recognized.
The San Diego County Veteran of the Year is recognized.
Member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society passes in a classic car.
Member of the Distinguished Flying Cross Society passes in a classic car.
Kid holds a sign that reads Thank You For Your Service!!! Air Force - Army - Coast Guard - Marines - Navy
Kid holds a sign that reads Thank You For Your Service!!! Air Force – Army – Coast Guard – Marines – Navy
The San Diego Padres baseball team is a big supporter of the active military and all Veterans.
The San Diego Padres baseball team is a big supporter of the active military and all Veterans.
Heroes who've been assisted by the Veterans Village San Diego march past. Thank you for your service! Know that you are appreciated by many!
Heroes who’ve been assisted by the Veterans Village San Diego march past. Thank you for your service! Know that you are appreciated by many!
Here comes the Morse High School JROTC!
Here comes the Morse High School JROTC.
The Morse High School Tigers had a huge number of great participants in the Veterans Day Parade!
The Morse High School Tigers had a huge number of great participants in the Veterans Day Parade!
Meanwhile, lots of cool stuff was being handed out to those watching the parade.
Meanwhile, lots of cool stuff was being handed out to those watching the parade.
These friendly folks were handing out American flags.
These friendly folks were handing out American flags.
A reenactment of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima was part of the parade.
A reenactment of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima was part of the parade.
Here comes the Korean Veterans Association.
Here comes the Korean Veterans Association.
Smiles up and down the parade route.
Smiles up and down the parade route.
Recipients of the Purple Heart. Honoring America's combat wounded Veterans.
Here come recipients of the Purple Heart. Honoring America’s combat wounded Veterans.
It's the fun Squibob Fire Department!
It’s the fun Squibob Fire Department!
The San Diego Diocese Chapter of Knights of Columbus marches past.
The San Diego Diocese Chapter of Knights of Columbus marches past.
The 2017 Veterans Day Parade in San Diego brought pageantry and patriotism to the waterfront.
The 2017 Veterans Day Parade in San Diego today brought many smiles to the waterfront.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to share and enjoy!

How to get support from fellow Veterans in San Diego.

I discovered a program in San Diego that provides advice and support for Veterans. It’s a confidential peer-to-peer program, where Veteran volunteers mentor other Veterans. The program is called “Vet to Vet” for that reason.

I found out about this program while walking randomly around Balboa Park. A notice was pinned to a bulletin board and I took a photo. According to the information, the meetings of Vet to Vet are confidential and no appointment is needed. It’s a safe place to be for a couple hours a week. All the info you need is right here–click the photo and it will enlarge:

Click this photo and it will expand for easy reading. You'll find information on meeting places and some phone numbers.
Click this photo and it will expand in size for easy reading. You’ll find important information on meeting places and a few phone numbers.

If you’re a Vet who’d like to volunteer, or if you’re a Vet who’d like a little support or someone to talk to, or you’re just curious and want to learn more, give that phone number on the flyer a call! And if you know a Veteran in San Diego who might appreciate a helping hand from someone who has walked in their shoes, why not pass along the info?

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Buy tasty salsa and help homeless Veterans!

Buy some tasty Military Salsa and help those who've served in the military transition back to civilian life.
Buy some tasty Military Salsa and help those who’ve served in the military transition back to civilian life.

The nonprofit Welcome Home Soldier Foundation had a tent at yesterday’s Mariachi Festival.  I learned their mission is to help those who’ve served in the military make the sometimes difficult transition back to civilian life. They have a very important project called Operation Sleeping Bag. They are providing homeless Veterans with sleeping bags.

Do you like to add tasty salsa to chips, tacos or breakfast burritos? The Welcome Home Soldier Foundation produces Military Salsas. The salsas come in many flavors, mild to hot, and the proceeds go to support this organization’s charitable work.

You can buy the salsas (and chips) online here! (Scroll down the page and you’ll see them.)

Sounds like a tasty, generous way to help Veterans who’d appreciate a helping hand!

Jars and bottles of salsa--from mild to spicy!
Jars and bottles of salsa–from mild to spicy!
Banner explains mission of the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Operation Sleeping Bag helps homeless Veterans.
Banner explains mission of the nonprofit Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Operation Sleeping Bag helps homeless Veterans.

Are you a blogger? Do you want to help make the world a better place? You might want to join Bloggers Lifting Others Generously.

Heroes of Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.

Tinted morning sky above Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial in San Diego.
Tinted morning sky above Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.

Early this morning, just as the sun was beginning to rise, I arrived at the top of a mountain. It had been a long while since I visited the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.

Located in La Jolla, north of downtown San Diego, Mount Soledad is a place of stunning views and great natural beauty. And a place filled with memory and feeling. Thousands are honored here for unselfishly serving their country.

Plaques on six concentric walls each remember an American hero, some who are living, many who’ve passed away into history. At the center rises a tall white memorial cross, erected in 1954 to honor Korean War veterans. The subject of controversy over many years, the cross will soon stand protected on private land. The National Defense Authorization Act for 2015 contains a provision that will convey the cross to the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial Association.

Like a mosaic, eternally shining black granite plaques cover the low, curving walls; they tell the diverse stories of uniformed members of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, plus those who served in the Merchant Marine during World War II. The walls will ultimately hold 3,200 names.

If you have a loved one who is serving, or who has served, you can purchase a plaque. Here is the memorial’s website.

Sun rising on eastern horizon illuminates top of concentric walls of the memorial.
Sun rising on eastern horizon illuminates top of concentric walls of the memorial.
The cross is a landmark that can be seen for many miles in every direction. The flagpole is bare at this early hour.
The cross is a landmark that can be seen for many miles in every direction. The flagpole is bare at this early hour.
Early morning visitors to Mount Soledad take photos of the 29 foot high cross.
Early morning visitors to Mount Soledad take photos of the 29 foot high cross.
Looking south over part of La Jolla toward Mission Bay and Point Loma. Downtown San Diego is visible on the far left.
Looking south over part of La Jolla toward Mission Bay and Point Loma. Downtown San Diego is visible on the far left.
Beautiful yellow flowers, grass and benches are found about this mountaintop monument to all Veterans.
Beautiful yellow flowers, grass and benches are found about this mountaintop monument to all veterans.
Gazing over curved walls containing memorial plaques toward the Pacific Ocean in morning light.
Gazing over curved walls containing memorial plaques toward the Pacific Ocean in morning light.
Friendly gentleman keeping the Mt. Soledad Park clean is grateful to work up here surrounded by so much beauty.
Friendly gentleman keeping the Mt. Soledad Park clean is grateful to work up here surrounded by so much beauty.
Photograph of the historic, controversial cross taken from its base.
Photograph of the historic, controversial cross taken from its base.
Plaque states the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross was dedicated in 1954 as a tribute to those who've served in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Plaque states the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial Cross was dedicated in 1954 as a tribute to those who’ve served in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Veteran volunteer prepares to proudly raise the American flag.
Veteran volunteer prepares to proudly raise the American flag.
The Stars and Stripes is carefully attached, ready to be lifted into the wide, blue sky.
The Stars and Stripes is carefully attached, ready to be lifted into the wide, blue sky.
The volunteer momentarily lowered the flag to half-mast, to honor the fallen. He then raised it to the top and showed his respect.
The volunteer momentarily lowered the flag to half-mast, to honor the fallen. He then raised it to the top and showed his respect.
Plaque at base of flagpole.
Plaque at base of flagpole.
The very energetic volunteer was happy to show me around the memorial.
The friendly volunteer was happy to show me around the memorial.
Names of donors on special bricks.
Names of donors on special bricks.
Pointing out notable names and heroic exploits that shine on the walls.
Pointing out notable names and heroic exploits that shine on the walls.
Photo plaques honor both living and dead members of United States uniformed services.
Photo plaques honor both living and deceased members of United States uniformed services.
Memorialized vets served honorably in eras and conflicts throughout our nation's history.
These memorialized vets served honorably in eras and conflicts throughout our nation’s history.
Jeffrey Scott Taylor of U.S. Navy killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005.
Jeffrey Scott Taylor of U.S. Navy killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005.
Plaque on Mt. Soledad honors and remembers prisoners of war, and those missing in action.
Plaque on Mt. Soledad honors and remembers prisoners of war, and those missing in action.
Herman Henry Hanneken, Brigadier General of U.S. Marine Corps, served in many wars long ago.
Herman Henry Hanneken, Brigadier General of U.S. Marine Corps, served in many wars long ago.
Famed band director Glenn Miller was a great morale builder during World War II.
Famed band director Glenn Miller was a great morale builder during World War II.
General Black Jack Pershing fought victoriously, from the Indian Wars through World War I.
General “Black Jack” Pershing fought victoriously, from the late 19th century through World War I.
Rear Admiral Thomas William McNamara has a plaque on Mount Soledad.
Rear Admiral Thomas William McNamara has a plaque on Mount Soledad.
U.S. Army Corporal Alfred W. Stewart helped liberate the Philippine Islands during WWII.
U.S. Army Corporal Alfred W. Stewart helped liberate the Philippine Islands during WWII.
Pharmacist's Mate Third Class Howard Manuel Gonzalez of the U.S. Navy is honored.
Pharmacist’s Mate Third Class Howard Manuel Gonzalez of the U.S. Navy is honored.
Harry Herman Heimple was a highly decorated U.S. Air Force Colonel during the Vietnam War and Desert Storm.
Harry Herman Heimple was a highly decorated U.S. Air Force Colonel during the Vietnam War and Desert Storm.
San Diego local hero Jerry Coleman, a baseball legend who served with great patriotism in two wars.
San Diego local hero Jerry Coleman, a baseball legend who served with great patriotism in two wars.
Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II.
Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II.
General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower's plaque is added to a host of other plaques representing those who served with equal honor.
General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s plaque is added to a host of other plaques representing those who served with equal honor.
Commander in Chief Harry S. Truman began his military career during World War I.
Commander in Chief Harry S. Truman began his military career during World War I.
Jack Kramer served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Second World War. He helped create modern professional tennis.
Jack Kramer served in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Second World War. He helped create modern professional tennis.
The four Nicosia brothers fought in different military branches in several theaters of war.
The four Nicosia brothers fought in different military branches in several theaters of war.
Famed Army General George S. Patton is remembered for his storied service to our country.
Famed Army General George S. Patton is remembered for his storied service to our country.
Legendary movie actor James Stewart was promoted to Brigadier General after 27 years of military service.
Legendary movie actor James Stewart was promoted to Brigadier General after 27 years of military service.
Pappy Boyington was a scrappy fighter pilot ace of the U.S. Marines during World War II.
Pappy Boyington was a scrappy fighter pilot ace of the U.S. Marines during World War II.
Dedicated to Jewish Chaplains who perished while in service to their country.
Dedicated to Jewish Chaplains who perished while in service to their country.
Sir Winston Churchill, who defended Britain from the Nazis, was made an honorary American citizen.
Sir Winston Churchill, who defended Britain from the Nazis, was made an honorary American citizen.
Patrol Bombing Squadron Eighteen. To men like them we owe our freedom.
Patrol Bombing Squadron Eighteen. To men like them we owe our freedom.
The brave, meritorious Tuskegee Airmen of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
The brave, meritorious Tuskegee Airmen of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II.
Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy Seal and Medal of Honor recipient who sacrificed his own life to save his comrades in Iraq.
Michael A. Monsoor, a Navy Seal and Medal of Honor recipient who sacrificed his own life to save his comrades in Iraq.
I'm shown an often updated book that lists the positions of every plaque by name.
I’m shown an often updated book that lists the positions of every plaque by name.
The volunteer at the memorial dutifully rings eight bells.
The volunteer at the memorial dutifully rings eight bells.
The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is a place of moving stories, and many heroes.
The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is a place of moving stories, and many heroes.

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