More gratitude the day after Veterans Day.

Yesterday was Veterans Day. Today, Saturday, the House of USA in Balboa Park held a special program remembering and thanking Veterans.

I lingered on the lawn of the International Cottages for a while and listened to the music of the San Diego City Guard Band. I also listened to short speeches concerning sacrifices made by Veterans.

A local chapter of the DAR had a display out on the grass, which I also looked at. California is home to many Medal of Honor recipients.

Sadly, Balboa Park’s lawn programs are often not well attended. The few who sat down to listen today heard important stories about fellow citizens who fought to protect our Freedom.

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Massing of the Colors in Old Town honors service.

This morning a unique ceremony was held in San Diego. The 66th Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance honored the flag of our country and those who’ve served to protect it–and the Freedom it represents.

The annual Massing of the Colors is presented by the San Diego Chapter of The Military Order of the World Wars. The organization is made up of officers from the uniformed services, their spouses and descendants.

This year about 25 color guards from all around the city came together for the ceremony at the U.S. Army of the West Mormon Battalion Historic Site, which is located in Old Town. The MCRD Marine Band provided patriotic music.

I watched as the many color guards arrived, streaming in from nearby parking lots and down sidewalks. There were youth belonging to the ROTC and Junior ROTC programs. There were proud Veterans who’d fought for their country. There were descendants of those who’d served.

Before the ceremony began, the color guards paraded single file through the grassy area where the audience would watch, forming a line of flags to one side. Then several color guards brought more flags forward before an Invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, and singing of the National Anthem. Coming to the podium, Anaeya Baez, from Girl Scout Troop 6116, read My Name is Old Glory.

A guest speaker, the Honorable M. Janet Chin, reminded everyone of the sacrifices many have made. She expressed hope that present and future generations will remember that history, and will continue the tradition of service.

The motto of the Military Order of the World Wars is: It is nobler to serve than to be served.

The ceremony ended with Taps, a Benediction, and the Retiring of the Colors.

As you can see in the following photographs, I arrived and took my seat very early…

Thank you for visiting Cool San Diego Sights!

I post new blogs pretty often, so you might want to bookmark coolsandiegosights.com and check back from time to time.

You can explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on this website’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There’s a lot of stuff to share and enjoy!

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!

An early Fourth of July in Balboa Park!

Should one celebrate Independence Day on the Third of July?

Why not!

Today’s Sunday lawn program at the International Cottages in Balboa Park was presented by the House of USA. It was a patriotic event for the Fourth of July–one day early!

Before the program began at 2 o’clock, I walked around and visited friendly members of two groups: Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution. One DAR member, I learned, is a descendant of Elihu Hickok, a soldier who served in the United States Revolutionary War.

The lawn program commenced with the presentation of colors and a beautiful, soaring rendition of the National Anthem sung by Ms. Helen Oh. She was followed by young pianist, Colton, who skillfully played America the Beautiful.

The Queen and Princess of the House of USA gave short speeches, then, after the main speaker, everyone enjoyed a performance of Western line dancing by the San Diego Coasters!

Then everyone was invited onto the stage to learn how to line dance!

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!

La Mesa celebrates freedom at inaugural Juneteenth event!

Today was the start of something big in La Mesa. This afternoon the inaugural La Mesa Juneteenth celebration kicked off in MacArthur Park!

I arrived shortly after the free public event opened at noon. Lots of people were already walking about, exploring the many canopies dotting the grass. I saw artists with crafts, vendors, community organizations . . . and lots of smiles!

There were families everywhere enjoying the sunshine. Kids were playing in a fun zone and learning about the history of the very first Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, when enslaved African Americans in Texas finally heard of their freedom.

I missed some of the later entertainment. I’ll try to catch it next year.

Because I have no doubt next year’s La Mesa Juneteenth celebration will be even bigger and better!

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!

The Buses Are Coming at the Quartyard!

An exhibit of national importance opens this weekend at the Quartyard outdoor venue in San Diego’s East Village.

The Buses Are Coming celebrates the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders. Featured are historical photographs and the stories of those who participated.

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists. Sitting freely on interstate buses wherever they pleased, they rode into states where Supreme Court rulings against segregation on buses were being ignored. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement.

The San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art (SDAAMFA) is hosting this inspiring exhibition through September 7, 2022. Everyone is freely invited to view The Buses Are Coming when the Quartyard is open to the public.

To learn more about this exhibit at the art-filled Quartyard, which hopefully many Comic-Con participants next month will visit, click here!

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!

Memorial Day ceremony to be held in National City.

National City will be hosting a Memorial Day ceremony tomorrow, May 30, 2022. The event will honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our nation’s armed forces.

The ceremony will be held at 4 pm in front of the War Memorial and Veterans Wall of Honor, which is located at 12th Street and D Avenue, at the northeast corner of Kimball Park.

I noticed other San Diego websites failed to list this important Memorial Day event, so I thought I’d mention it here. Spread the word.

I plan to take the day off and simply rest. Perhaps write a little. I’m not getting any younger.

Believe me, I’m grateful to live in a free country. And I want to thank those who have sacrificed to defend freedom.

I attended the National City Memorial Day ceremony last year, and posted many moving photographs of it here.

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!

Graffiti Art Park at UC San Diego.

Some might be surprised that at UC San Diego, a premier research university, where faculty and staff have been awarded an astonishing 71 Nobel Prizes, student graffiti is encouraged.

Spray painted creativity and thoughts written by students fill several large boards at UCSD’s colorful Graffiti Art Park. The art park is located among eucalyptus trees south of Mandeville Auditorium, near Art of Espresso’s outdoor patio.

As you can see, some of the artwork is quite striking.

I read the numerous posted rules and then pondered possible contradictions. How free is the speech? And isn’t graffiti about breaking rules?

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!

Standing with Ukraine in San Diego.

I walked a little through downtown San Diego this morning and this evening. And the first thing I photographed was the above sign We Stand With Ukraine.

Later, I’d see other instances of San Diego businesses and residents standing in solidarity with the Ukrainians, who have been suffering for a month now during the brutal Russian invasion orchestrated by Putin.

The civilized world has been watching the shocking events in Ukraine with horror and great sadness.

May reason, compassion, and human liberty prevail.

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!

War and freedom in Solana Beach.

World events are showing us once again that war is hell. And that freedom is precious.

Earlier this year, I took these photographs in Solana Beach of the war memorial at the corner of Highway 101 and Plaza Street/Lomas Santa Fe Drive. Plaques honor local residents who fought in World War II and the Vietnam War.

I performed a search to learn more about this memorial, but a Waymarking link to an old North County Times article concerning its creation is broken. Apparently the memorial was dedicated on March 26, 2009.

Beneath the plaques are the bold words FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

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!

She is LOVED, FREE and STRONG in East Village!

I spotted this uplifting, encouraging mural early this morning as I walked down J Street in San Diego’s East Village. The artwork is located on a wall between 16th Street and 17th Street.

I believe the mural was painted about a year ago. I don’t know by whom.

The three positive messages are: She is loved! She is free! She is strong!

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