The Greatest Generation Walk, roughly between the USS Midway Museum and the Fish Market Restaurant, is always a hub of activity during the weekend. There’s a huge load of stuff to do and see! Lots of people were out and about yesterday!
Today, an estimated 5000 people turned out for the public memorial service celebrating the life of the late Jerry Coleman. The service took place at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. “The Colonel” had been the central figure in the Padres baseball organization for over four decades. Jerry’s broadcasting voice will be missed by generations of fans. An excellent argument can be made that he was the most loved public figure in the history of our city.
I apologize that my camera isn’t of the highest quality. I do hope you enjoy a few images that I captured.
Dick Enberg noted that the stage was located on Jerry’s favorite spot: second base. After the playing of the National Anthem by the Marine Band, F-18 fighter jets roared overhead in the missing man formation.
After speeches by Randy Jones, Bob Chandler, Ron Fowler and Ron Roberts, fan-favorite former Padres player Tim Flannery sang his own stirring composition about Jerry Coleman, the man who hung the stars.
Joe Torre received great applause when he related a few humorous and touching old Yankees stories, and spoke of Jerry Coleman’s heroism and humility.
Ted Leitner, Jerry’s broadcast partner for many years, brought laughter and tears with his intimate accounts of a baseball legend’s modest personality and funny quirks. He concluded that Jerry Coleman was the best man he’d ever known.
After a salute by the Marine Corps, a T-6 SNJ aircraft from 1942, similar to the one Coleman flew in World War II passed overhead to honor the former Marine.
Jerry’s daughter Chelsea then spoke about her dad. She said that all he really lived for was his country, the game of baseball, and the people he loved. Dick Enberg concluded the memorial by saying that we all were fortunate to be part of the legacy of Jerry Coleman.
52 U.S. Navy submarines were lost at sea during World War II. 3,505 submariners lost their lives.
At NTC Liberty Station, the 52 Boats Memorial remembers the sacrifice of these men.
The unique memorial runs along two beautiful walkways, and consists of 52 American Liberty Elm trees, 52 flags and 52 black granite markers. The history of each submarine and the names of lost crew members are recounted for future generations to remember.
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A great hero.
A great player.
A great broadcaster.
A great man.
This is the bust of Vice Admiral Clifton Sprague. He commanded Task Unit 77.4.3, also known as Taffy 3, during World War II. The 13 ships and over 7000 men of Taffy 3 fought courageously in the Pacific, repulsing a vastly superior force of Japanese battleships, cruisers and destroyers in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. It was the war’s final and greatest battle between the two opposing fleets.
Behind the bust, the monument features thirteen black polished granite panels. Each one contains historical information about the American naval ships that participated.
The Battle of Leyte Gulf Memorial is located in the middle of the Greatest Generation Walk, just south of the USS Midway. It’s not far from the huge, iconic Unconditional Surrender statue, which people often dub The Kiss. You can see it there in the first photo’s background!