This evening a very special event was held in San Diego.
A crowd gathered near the top of Presidio Hill, in the parking lot just below the Serra Museum, to take part in the San Diego 250 Civic Commemoration Ceremony.
The historic event was staged in the same spot overlooking San Diego Bay where the first Spanish mission and presidio were built in 1769. It is where San Diego began 250 years ago.
The first part of the San Diego 250 Civic Commemoration Ceremony featured cultural entertainment representing our remarkably diverse city. Several colorful dances were followed by speeches by politicians, dignitaries and diplomats, plus several leaders of the Native American Kumeyaay people–those who have lived in this region many thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. The audience experienced a Kumeyaay blessing and traditional Bird Songs. With sincere words past injustices and the suffering of the Kumeyaay were acknowledged, and optimism was expressed that our city’s future will be inclusive and bright.
For as long as I can remember, three flagpoles have stood at this place where the Spanish built their first outpost in California. Three banners have flown representing the history of San Diego: the flags of Spain, Mexico and the United States.
A fourth flagpole was recently installed. Today, at the close of the ceremony, a flag incorporating the different tribes of the Kumeyaay Nation was blessed with white sage smoke–to purify minds and hearts-and raised proudly, acknowledging and honoring San Diego’s first people.
I took some photographs of this important historical event.
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