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!

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Photos of Scripps Ranch 4th of July Parade!

Today’s Independence Day parade in Scripps Ranch was a colorful example of good old-fashioned Americana!

Neighbors came out for a patriotic community parade that wound along several residential streets.

Families sat in lawn chairs on the sidewalk or under canopies on front lawns. Small flags were waved by many hands. As each parade entry passed by, rousing cheers erupted!

Politicians waved as they passed the crowd. Guys drove their red, white and blue decorated vintage cars by, wearing Uncle Sam hats. High school cheerleaders performed their routine for the parade judges. Local youth sport teams walked by holding up trophies. Little Leaguers pitched candy to the crowd. Scouts ambled by, some shy, others hamming it up. A church had a mobile pastor dunking booth. A waving, smiling group celebrated diversity. A local fitness group dropped down periodically to perform pushups on the street.

There were cheers for everybody.

What seemed most remarkable to me was how the many members of a large community can come together as one family.

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!

Coronado 4th of July parade honors American heroes.

Coronado’s huge Independence Day parade returned this year! The parade’s theme for 2021 was A Salute To America’s Heroes.

Late this morning I walked along Orange Avenue and took photographs of the patriotic spectacle.

The 4th of July Parade was cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The heroes honored in this year’s parade included healthcare workers, essential workers and ordinary Americans–all those who sacrificed to help our nation through a very difficult period.

I’ve blogged about this epic annual parade several times in the past, with photo captions that provide detailed information. Today I’ll simply offer a glimpse of what I experienced.

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!

Stars on colorful mosaic walls in National City.

A few weeks ago, as I waited for a Memorial Day ceremony at National City’s War Memorial and Veteran’s Wall of Honor, I walked around the nearby intersection of 12th Street and D Avenue, where there’s a traffic roundabout.

In the center of the roundabout I discovered five medallion-like plaques that honor five branches of the United States Armed Forces. But what really caught my eyes were the colorful red, white and blue star mosaics that decorate several walls surrounding the intersection!

I believe this public artwork was part of the 2015 improvement project that you can read about here.

I love the how the stars in the patriotic mosaics look like they’re flying, bouncing and dancing, or unspooling like musical notes. They also sort of appear like bursting fireworks!

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!

Memorial Day at National City’s Wall of Honor.

Late this afternoon I attended a Memorial Day ceremony at National City’s Wall of Honor.

It was a special event for the South Bay community. Those who served in the United States Armed Services and have passed on were remembered.

The Wall of Honor extends on either side of the National City War Memorial, which stands overlooking a corner of Kimball Park. Plaques on the wall are dedicated to loved Veterans. Through the memorial’s arch children could be seen playing on the park’s wide green grass, and looking through that arch during the ceremony was like peering through the window of Freedom.

National City’s mayor and various dignitaries were in attendance and spoke. The Navy was represented as well. Retired vets who had served their country received handshakes from all.

I took these photographs of the beautiful and very meaningful ceremony. Memorial Day is a time to recognize sacrifices, and to seriously reflect.

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!

Celebration of Memorial Day by the USS Midway.

Around noon today there was a unique outdoor celebration of Memorial Day in downtown San Diego. The spectacle could be viewed in San Diego Bay and the sky above the USS Midway Museum!

A small crowd that had gathered by the iconic “Kiss” statue saw a Harbor Police patrol boat water cannon salute and a parade of personal watercraft arriving from across the bay bearing large American flags.

Then, after the patriotic parade had gathered in the water between the USS Midway and The Greatest Generation Walk, four vintage World War II aircraft belonging to Air Group One of the Commemorative Air Force flew twice overhead, and departed with the missing man formation.

Much of the event was at a distance from where I stood, but my small camera managed to get a few good photographs…

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!

A sidewalk Memorial Day thank you.

It’s Memorial Day weekend. I saw this on the sidewalk today while walking through downtown La Mesa. Somebody created a small tribute with chalk, fresh flowers and green leaves. Spelled inside a heart is Thank You. All gave some and some gave all.

I thought I’d share the photo. And add my own Thank You to all those who’ve sacrificed defending the freedoms we might sometimes take for granted.

(Why was I in La Mesa? To climb the Secret Stairs! I’ll blog about that experience sometime later this week!)

Take care everybody.

Nostalgic old parade mural in El Cajon!

Today I went for a very long walk through El Cajon, in San Diego’s East County. I took so many photographs, lots of interesting blog posts are on the way!

During my walk I came upon this faded mural on a building at the corner of East Main Street and Roanoke Road. It depicts an old-fashioned American parade, apparently from the mid-20th century. I’m assuming the parade is proceeding down El Cajon’s Main Street, but I don’t really know. I could find no date or artist signature. I believe Jackson Hewitt Tax Service used to occupy at least part of this building.

This artwork is so faded, I had to dramatically increase the contrast of my photos.

I’m sure somebody out there knows the history of this nostalgic old mural. If you know anything, please leave a comment!

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!

America’s Heroes of 9-11 mural painted by Navy SEAL.

A large patriotic mural paying tribute to firefighting heroes is visible to those driving down Main Street in Barrio Logan. It can be observed on the side of the FIRE ETC firefighter supply store.

Titled “America’s Heroes of 9-11,” the mural was painted in 2011 by Pete Carolan, a retired Navy SEAL.

To learn more about Pete Carolan’s career and accomplishments, check out his website here. I see he has painted an outdoor mural at the UDT-SEAL Museum, and “his many works…appear in such places as The Pentagon, our Nation’s Capitol and The White House.”

Pete Carolan got his start early in life as a lifeguard in Huntington Beach, California, became a world champion outrigger canoe paddler, and would eventually become a Navy frogman. He was chosen to be swim team leader in the recovery of the Apollo-13 capsule when it finally splashed down in the South Pacific.

He was the one who painted “Freddie the Frog” on the Sea King helicopter that recovered the astronauts. You can see “Freddie the Frog” briefly in the Apollo 13 movie starring Tom Hanks!

Should you visit the USS Midway Museum, check out their SH-3 Sea King helicopter. It, too, has been painted with Pete Carolan’s “Freddie the Frog!”

(You might notice I took these photographs late in the afternoon. I had to cope with glare produced by reflecting sunlight, plus a few trees across Main Street were casting their long shadows upon the artwork.)

UPDATE!

Here’s a photo I took at a later time when the sun and shadows weren’t being problematic…

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Monuments to freedom by Escondido City Hall.

Several plaques and monuments honoring military veterans can be found around Grape Day Park in Escondido. One tribute, the Wall of Courage, I previously photographed here.

At the east end of the park, between Broadway and Escondido’s City Hall, two marble monuments stand together in the shade of trees.

The four sides of an obelisk display the United States Constitution’s first Ten Amendments, the Bill of Rights, which guarantees our individual rights and liberty. According to a plaque at its base, the obelisk was presented by the Escondido Rotary Club to the City of Escondido on July 4, 1976, during our nation’s Bicentennial.

The second monument honors all veterans who serve to defend that freedom. The memorial was dedicated twenty years later, in 1996 on Veterans Day.

It reads: The eternal gratitude of the citizens of Escondido and the nation is extended to every man and woman, living or dead, who wore the uniform of our military services with honor past, present and future.

A flag flies above both.

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!