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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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 enjoy!

Heroes honored at Chula Vista’s Memorial Monument.

The Memorial Monument stands near the center of Chula Vista’s Memorial Park. It lists the names of honored heroes.

According to bronze plaques, bookending names engraved in marble, the monument is…

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF CHULA VISTA (AND SOUTH BAY) HEROES OF ALL WARS WHO SO GALLANTLY FOUGHT TO PRESERVE OUR AMERICAN HERITAGE THAT

GOVERNMENT OF THE PEOPLE BY THE PEOPLE FOR THE PEOPLE SHALL NOT PERISH FROM THE EARTH

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!

4th of July celebrated in Balboa Park!

This afternoon at 2 pm there was a special celebration of the 4th of July in Balboa Park. A small crowd was drawn to the International Cottages where the House of the United States of America hosted the event.

Several members of the Sons of the American Revolution were present, and they had a table where I learned about the organization. They’re all about teaching a very important aspect of American history: its founding.

To join SAR you must be a verified descendant of someone who fought in the Revolutionary War. I was told that finding all that necessary documentation is an eye-opener. One quickly realizes that names recorded centuries ago were actual living breathing human beings, no different than you and me! (To see a list of the San Diego Chapter’s ancestors, click here!)

Members of SAR today work with schools and educators to teach American history. You can image how kids would be excited to talk to an actual honest-to-goodness descendant of our nation’s founders! If you’d like to learn more about and perhaps get in touch with these folks, click here!

Before the Independence Day ceremony got started, I got a hot dog with onions, mustard and ketchup and headed into the House of the USA cottage where I took some of the following photos.

Then it was time for the Sons of the American Revolution color guard to present the flag.

After the National Anthem was sung, a good old American rock and roll band entertained everyone!

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 enjoy!