A librarian’s Call to Serve in San Diego.

An inspiring exhibit now on display at the San Diego Central Library is titled Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed & The Japanese American Incarceration. It can be viewed through January 2022 in the Art Gallery on the downtown library’s Ninth Floor.

The exhibit recalls how San Diego librarian Clara E. Breed comforted and advocated for those American citizens of Japanese ancestry who were sent away to internment camps during World War II. She particularly helped and encouraged the children, with whom she kept in communication. Part of the exhibit includes many of her letters.

Clara Breed also fought against the censorship of books, and for a library collection that contained more international and multicultural material, that would speak to readers from diverse backgrounds.

I was touched by Clara’s compassion as I read many of the letters. She clearly had a love for the hundreds of children that she tirelessly championed. Anyone reading her words will be moved.

A replica of a barracks that was used to incarcerate Japanese-Americans during World War II can be viewed on the Central Library’s First Floor, near the main entrance. I blogged about it about a month ago here.

“Military necessity” was the justification for the removal of all persons of Japanese ancestry from the West Coast of the United States…On April 1, 1942, Civilian Exclusion Order No. 4 announced that all persons of Japanese ancestry were to report to Santa Fe Depot…Military guards supervised the transportation fo some 1,150 San Diegans to the Santa Anita Race Track…
“…When the children came to return their books and surrender their cards we gave them stamped postcards. Write to us. We’ll want to know where you are and how you are getting along, and we’ll send you some books to read.” –Clara E. Breed
…I am going to miss you a great deal, as you must know. You have been one of my restorers-of-faith in the human spirit. I know that you will keep your courage and humor in the weeks and days that lie ahead, no matter what they may bring…

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!

Military Tribute at Civita in Mission Valley.

Protecting our Freedom.

Four years ago, Military Tribute Plaza was dedicated at Civita in Mission Valley.

This monument, saluting the United States Armed Services, features flags above black marble columns. Bronze plaques recall the history of each military branch in San Diego. Veterans are also honored.

I took these photographs a few weeks ago when I enjoyed a walk through the large Civita residential community. I thought now would be a good time to post them, because Veterans Day has arrived.

In Memory of The Five Grant Brothers Who Honorably Served Their Country During World War II.
SAN DIEGO’S COAST GUARD. One of the predecessors of the modern Coast Guard traces it presence in San Diego to the opening of the Point Loma Lighthouse in 1855…
SAN DIEGO’S AIR FORCE. Originally part of the U.S. Army, the Air Force took shape with military aviation at Rockwell Field at North Island, beginning in 1912…
Lt. Col. Ronald Grant, USAFR.
Lt. Tom (Suds) Sudberry.
SAN DIEGO’S NAVY. San Diego’s development owes much to the Navy, starting with the visit of the Great White Fleet of 16 battleships in 1908…
SAN DIEGO’S MARINE CORPS. Beginning in 1914, strife in Mexico created a continuing presence in San Diego for the U.S. Marine Corps…
SAN DIEGO’S ARMY. The U.S. Army was naturally in the forefront of San Diego’s American beginnings…

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Replica WWII incarceration barrack at Central Library.

Just inside the entrance to the Central Library in downtown San Diego stands a life-size model barrack. It accurately replicates barracks that were used to incarcerate Japanese-Americans during World War II.

The model barrack was built by Frank Wada, who was sent to the Poston “Relocation Center” in Arizona, before being released to fight in the war. He was ultimately awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

In 1942 ten prison camps were built in the United States to incarcerate those with Japanese ancestry. About 120,000 people were imprisoned in these camps. The model barrack shows what life was like for those who were forced to live away from their homes, with little comfort or privacy.

An exhibit in the Central Library’s 9th floor Art Gallery, titled Call to Serve: Clara E. Breed and the Japanese American Incarceration, is on view through January 30, 2022. It documents how San Diego city librarian Clara Estelle Breed was an active opponent of Executive Order 9066, the internment policy instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt in February 1942.

On Saturday afternoon I rode the elevator up to the library’s rooftop to see the exhibition, but for some reason the Art Gallery was closed. I’ll try again in the future!

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!

Plaque at Cabrillo honors National Parks hero.

A beautiful bronze plaque near the entrance of the Cabrillo National Monument Visitor Center honors Stephen Tyng Mather.

It reads:

STEPHEN TYNG MATHER

JULY.4.1867. JAN:22.1930.

HE LAID THE FOUNDATION OF THE NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEFINING AND ESTABLISHING THE POLICIES UNDER WHICH ITS AREAS SHALL BE DEVELOPED AND CONSERVED UNIMPAIRED FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS. THERE WILL NEVER COME AN END TO THE GOOD THAT HE HAS DONE.

You can learn more about Stephen Mather and how he promoted the creation of the National Park Service and became its first director here.

The Wikipedia page states: “In 1932, his family and friends established the Stephen Mather Memorial Fund, which commissioned numerous bronze plaques honoring Mather’s accomplishments and installed them in national park units.

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!

Pacific Beach memorial for Kabul attack victims.

I saw this memorial today as I walked along the Pacific Beach boardwalk.

Thirteen flags had been planted nearby in the sand, to honor and remember the thirteen United States service members who died during the attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, almost two weeks ago.

Some people walking or biking through the sunshine stopped, to quietly gaze at the flags, flowers, and scattered objects of remembrance.

I don’t know who created this simple but moving tribute.

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.

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

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Mission Bay palm grove honors American hostages.

There’s no need to expound on the terrible developments presently taking place in Afghanistan.

A couple weekends ago, during my walk along the east shore of Mission Bay, I saw a small plaque by the pathway. This plaque is located at Tecolote Shores, a little north of the Mission Bay Playground, near a beautiful grove of tall palm trees. I paused to read the following words.

THIS PALM GROVE PLANTED IN HONOR OF THE 52 AMERICAN CITIZENS HELD HOSTAGE IN IRAN, FROM NOVEMBER 4, 1979 TO JANUARY 20, 1981.

BY KIWANIS CLUB OF SAN DIEGO

Today, in our own time of fear and uncertainty, let us all hope and pray for the best.

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.

Photos of Veterans Park in Poway.

Beneath the flags of Veterans Park, located across Midland Road from Old Poway Park, those who have served in the United States military are honored and remembered.

I visited Veterans Park during my most recent walk in Poway. I found many tributes to those who sacrificed.

I saw plaques, engraved bricks in a Wall of Honor, and small monuments filled with memory.

There’s a bronze Battlefield Cross and a large Meneely Bell.

Six stations near the center of the Veterans Park circle feature artwork and audio recordings. The history of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine is told.

There’s a cannon, an anchor, and other artifacts from war, and words of pain, and courage, and gratitude for freedom. And many names.

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!

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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!