Loving bench plaques near Coronado’s City Hall.

Plaque on a bench. In loving memory of Linda Sanford Fleming our Coronado Queen. July 4, 1938 - May 6, 2005. From her devoted family and friends.
Plaque on a bench. In loving memory of Linda Sanford Fleming our Coronado Queen. July 4, 1938 – May 6, 2005. From her devoted family and friends.

During my walk last Saturday I rested for a bit on a bench near Coronado’s City Hall. After looking about the beautiful place, I noticed most of the nearby benches featured memorial plaques. I read a few and was touched by words of love and optimism.

Perhaps you’d enjoy seeing a few of these plaques…

A few beautiful paths near Coronado's City Hall feature benches where one can rest and enjoy the day's sunshine.
A few tranquil paths near Coronado’s City Hall feature benches where one can rest and enjoy the day’s sunshine.
A plaque on another bench. In loving memory - Clarence and Mary Muirhead - 65 year Coronado residents fondly remembered by their family.
A plaque on another bench. In loving memory – Clarence and Mary Muirhead – 65 year Coronado residents fondly remembered by their family.
Bicyclist rides past City of Coronado City Hall, next to San Diego Bay.
Bicyclist rides past City of Coronado City Hall, next to San Diego Bay. Coronado Shores buildings, near the Pacific Ocean, rise in the background.
In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
In memory of June Lenz, founder of Crown Garden Club, whose legacy was to encourage the love of flowers and the beautification of Coronado.
In honor of Sue and Bill Williams. Look at the sunny side and make your optimism come true.
In honor of Sue and Bill Williams. Look at the sunny side and make your optimism come true.
More benches by the bay offer a view of boats in the nearby Glorietta Bay Marina.
More benches offer a view of boats in the nearby Glorietta Bay Marina.
In memory of Kathy Griffin, beloved daughter and sister. July 25, 1959 - July 28, 2006. What we have lost Heaven has gained. Love family and friends.
In memory of Kathy Griffin, beloved daughter and sister. July 25, 1959 – July 28, 2006. What we have lost Heaven has gained. Love family and friends.
In loving memory of Lloyd McKinley Harmon. August 1, 1891 - September 16, 1968. Mayor of Coronado in 1952 and 1953 ... and Olive Genevieve Harmon. July 4, 1907 - April 3, 2005.
In loving memory of Lloyd McKinley Harmon. August 1, 1891 – September 16, 1968. Mayor of Coronado in 1952 and 1953 … and Olive Genevieve Harmon. July 4, 1907 – April 3, 2005. Absent but Dear.
A sailboat out on the wide blue water.
A sailboat out on the wide blue water.
Ensign Van Andrew Wilson, U.S. Navy SEAL. September 3, 1982 - January 26, 2006. His training was finished here. He achieved his goal. The greatest mission lies ahead.
Ensign Van Andrew Wilson, U.S. Navy SEAL. September 3, 1982 – January 26, 2006. His training was finished here. He achieved his goal. The greatest mission lies ahead.

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Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque–cleaned!

San Diego's historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque has been cleaned!
San Diego’s historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque has been cleaned!

Look what I spotted recently during a walk along the Embarcadero. The historic Navy Bicentennial Commemorative Plaque, part of the Greatest Generation Walk near the USS Midway Museum, has been beautifully cleaned. The corrosion is gone!

Whoever is responsible–it looks great!

The fascinating origin of this once mysterious Navy plaque, forged in 1975 on fleet repair ship USS Ajax, was revealed here.

In that blog post you can see a photo of the old corrosion, which has now been removed!

Grand entrance of downtown Army-Navy YMCA.

Front of the 1924 Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego, designed by architects Lincoln Rogers and Frank W. Stevenson.
Front of the 1924 Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego, designed by architects Lincoln Rogers and Frank W. Stevenson.

The grand entrance of the historic Army-Navy YMCA building in downtown San Diego is presently shuttered from view. That’s because the structure, built in 1924 for the recreational activities of San Diego’s many enlisted military men, is being converted into an elegant new hotel on Broadway. The Guild San Diego will open in spring 2018 and promises to offer a variety of unique features, including a ballroom inside what was once the old YMCA basketball court.

Before the present construction began, I took some photos of the columns and artwork around the building’s amazing front entrance. These images have been sitting idle in my computer. Here they are for your enjoyment.

When I took this photo, the 500 West Hotel had closed. Today a new luxury hotel, The Guild Hotel, is under construction. Much of the historic building will be preserved.
When I took this photo, the 500 West Hotel had closed. Today a new luxury destination, The Guild Hotel, is under construction. Much of the historic building will be preserved.
Some beautiful sculptural work around the front entrance.
Some beautiful sculptural work around the elegant front entrance.
I believe this represents Cabrillo's ship San Salvador, which entered San Diego Bay in 1542.
I believe this represents Cabrillo’s ship San Salvador, which entered San Diego Bay in 1542.
Part of the ornate front entrance to the landmark Army-Navy YMCA building in San Diego.
Part of the very ornate front entrance to the Army-Navy YMCA building in San Diego.

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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.

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Help restore a beautiful Navy sailor memorial.

Volunteers and Boy Scouts work to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.
Volunteers and Boy Scouts work to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.

Your help is needed to help restore a beautiful U.S. Navy sailor memorial in San Diego. I’m speaking of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. Some of the 66 oak trees planted to honor the victims of the USS Bennington boiler explosion in 1905 have themselves died. They need to be replaced.

The San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is working to restore and improve the historic oak grove with the help of hardworking Boy Scouts and locally-based U.S. Navy sailors. You can read more about these efforts here.

But money is needed. Donations are sought to purchase new trees. Please contact the San Diego DAR to learn how you can help honor and beautify the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

A dead oak tree that needs to be replaced.
A dead oak tree that needs to be replaced.

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Boy Scouts improve Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

Crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt help Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson move logs in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Crew members of USS Theodore Roosevelt help Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson move logs in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.

Over the past year and a half, some amazing young men have been working to improve the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. These community-minded Boy Scouts, with the help of the San Diego Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, have undertaken projects in the historic grove in order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.

You might remember the photos that I posted of the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. It’s tucked away in a corner of Florida Canyon, not far from Naval Medical Center San Diego and the Balboa Park Municipal Golf Course. The 66 live oak trees were planted in 1905 to memorialize 66 sailors killed on the USS Bennington on July 21st of that year. The gunboat’s boiler exploded while it was in San Diego Bay, and many men tragically perished.

The efforts of these hardworking Boy Scouts have added beauty, safety and memory to the old oak grove. Four have successfully become Eagle Scouts. They are Joshua Ortega, Sam Kinsey, Frederick Persons and Erik Ortlieb. The projects of two other young men are now underway.

Most of these photographs have been contributed by local historian Kathleen Winchester. She and other members of the DAR’s San Diego Chapter have been instrumental in providing coordination and encouragement as the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove is improved. Please read the photo captions to appreciate the unselfish work of these young men.

I have learned the grove’s kiosk will eventually contain the names of those who perished aboard the USS Bennington. And very soon a flagpole will be raised in the grove-the project of another Boy Scout.

In 2014, the San Diego Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution partnered with the San Diego Park and Recreation Department and the Friends of Balboa Park as part of the latter’s “Adopt-A-Plot” program and adopted the Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.

The local DAR intends to purchase more oak trees to replace dead ones. If anyone wants to help with this worthy endeavor, contact the San Diego Chapter of DAR. All contributed funds will go straight to the purchase of trees.

As you can see in a few of the photos, U.S. Navy sailors from the San Diego homeported aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have also lent a hand. Their involvement is especially meaningful as Teddy Roosevelt was the President of the United States in 1905 when the USS Bennington disaster occured. President Roosevelt was a conservationist who would have loved this shady grove of majestic oaks.

The sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, by helping to beautify the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove, honored their fellow seamen from an earlier time.

The USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park has been improved by some amazing young men working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout.
The USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park has been improved by some amazing young men working to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
The oak grove's entrance sign is an Eagle Project undertaken by Erik Ortlieb of Boy Scout Troop 4 in La Jolla.
The oak grove’s entrance sign is an Eagle Project undertaken by Erik Ortlieb of Boy Scout Troop 4 in La Jolla.
Erik Ortlieb poses with Kathleen Winchester of the DAR by the sign he built on October 16, 2016. It welcomes visitors into the beautiful old oak grove.
Erik Ortlieb poses with Kathleen Winchester of the DAR by a post of the wooden sign he built on October 16, 2016. The sign welcomes visitors into the beautiful old oak grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Sam Kinsey works on the trail that leads into the historic USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park.
Boy Scout Sam Kinsey works on the trail that leads into the historic USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove in Balboa Park. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Joshua Ortega finished a footbridge in the grove just days before his 18th birthday. He is now attending Pepperdine University.
Boy Scout Joshua Ortega finished a footbridge in the grove just days before his 18th birthday. He is now attending Pepperdine University. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Plaque on the bridge reads Eagle Scout Project - Joshua R. Ortega - Troop 299 - June 2016.
Plaque on the bridge reads Eagle Scout Project – Joshua R. Ortega – Troop 299 – June 2016.
Boy Scout Frederick Persons poses in front of the new kiosk he built. Around him are volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 295.
Boy Scout Frederick Persons poses in front of the new kiosk he built. Around him are volunteers from Boy Scout Troop 295. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Crew members of San Diego aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt lend a helping hand by rolling logs that will border a path though the grove.
Crew members of San Diego aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt lend a helping hand by rolling logs that will border a path though the grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson and U.S. Navy sailors roll logs into place in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove.
Boy Scout Maxwell Thomson and U.S. Navy sailors roll logs into place in the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
Maxwell Thomson poses with friends among logs which now mark the trail through the revitalized USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove!
Maxwell Thomson poses with friends among logs which now mark the trail through the USS Bennington Memorial Oak Grove. Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.
15-year-old Maxwell Thomson takes a short break as DAR San Diego Chapter members cheer him on!
15-year-old Maxwell Thomson takes a short break as DAR San Diego Chapter members cheer him on! Photo courtesy Kathleen Winchester.

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!