An early Fourth of July in Balboa Park!

Should one celebrate Independence Day on the Third of July?

Why not!

Today’s Sunday lawn program at the International Cottages in Balboa Park was presented by the House of USA. It was a patriotic event for the Fourth of July–one day early!

Before the program began at 2 o’clock, I walked around and visited friendly members of two groups: Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution. One DAR member, I learned, is a descendant of Elihu Hickok, a soldier who served in the United States Revolutionary War.

The lawn program commenced with the presentation of colors and a beautiful, soaring rendition of the National Anthem sung by Ms. Helen Oh. She was followed by young pianist, Colton, who skillfully played America the Beautiful.

The Queen and Princess of the House of USA gave short speeches, then, after the main speaker, everyone enjoyed a performance of Western line dancing by the San Diego Coasters!

Then everyone was invited onto the stage to learn how to line dance!

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!

Memorial Day ceremony to be held in National City.

National City will be hosting a Memorial Day ceremony tomorrow, May 30, 2022. The event will honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in our nation’s armed forces.

The ceremony will be held at 4 pm in front of the War Memorial and Veterans Wall of Honor, which is located at 12th Street and D Avenue, at the northeast corner of Kimball Park.

I noticed other San Diego websites failed to list this important Memorial Day event, so I thought I’d mention it here. Spread the word.

I plan to take the day off and simply rest. Perhaps write a little. I’m not getting any younger.

Believe me, I’m grateful to live in a free country. And I want to thank those who have sacrificed to defend freedom.

I attended the National City Memorial Day ceremony last year, and posted many moving photographs of it here.

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!

War Memorial at San Diego State University.

A War Memorial stands at San Diego State University. It remembers SDSU alumni who fought and died for their country.

The tall monument is located in Aztec Center Green, north of the SDSU Transit Center, west of the Aztec Student Union building.

Those who approach the War Memorial can read the names of students from several generations.

Many fought in World War II. Others fought in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq.

WAR MEMORIAL

PLANNED BY A SELECT PRE-50s ALUMNI COMMITTEE

DEDICATED ON NOVEMBER 23, 1996

ARTIST: JESS DOMINGUEZ

IN MEMORY OF OUR CLASSMATES WHOSE LIVES WERE TAKEN FROM US DURING OUR NATION’S MILITARY CONFLICTS

THIS WAR MEMORIAL’S JAGGED EDGES SYMBOLIZE THE SHATTERED LIVES OF OUR AZTEC HEROES AND CLASSMATES LOST SELFLESSLY IN SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY.

WE SALUTE AND HONOR THEM.

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!

Sister cities observed at Oceanside Civic Center.

Curious eyes can make many interesting discoveries during a walk around the Oceanside Civic Center.

The last time I visited the beautiful Civic Center, I happened to notice a sign and a plaque that honor two of Oceanside’s sister cities: Pago Pago, American Samoa, and Fuji, Japan.

It might seem odd that Pago Pago maintains a close relationship with a city in Southern California, but Oceanside boasts one of the largest Samoan populations in the United States. Why? American Samoa has the highest rate of military enlistment of any U.S. state or territory. A large number of Marine Corps recruits are subsequently based at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside’s military neighbor.

Fuji, Japan has one sister city: Oceanside. The relationship was established in 1991. Fuji is located at the foot of tall, scenic Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s Three Holy Mountains.

I’ve learned that Oceanside has two additional sister cities: Ensenada, Mexico and Kisarazu, Japan.

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!

Clock and flag Welcome to Allied Gardens.

There’s a street clock and flag in Allied Gardens at the corner of Waring Road and Zion Avenue.

According to this page, during our nation’s bicentennial in 1976, the Grantville-Allied Gardens Kiwanis Club sponsored a parade, and later installed a permanent flagpole in the small park-like space now called The Triangle. Today, those passing through the community are greeted with a friendly Welcome to Allied Gardens.

I walked past the clock and flag a few weekends ago and took these photographs. I also discovered a couple of plaques by the flag. Many of the engraved pavers around the clock’s base have more recent dates.

Welcome to Allied Gardens.
A community service project sponsored by Kiwanis.
Allied Gardens established 1954.
Our American flag dedicated to our community by the Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens in honor of our nations bi-centennial.

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!

War and freedom in Solana Beach.

World events are showing us once again that war is hell. And that freedom is precious.

Earlier this year, I took these photographs in Solana Beach of the war memorial at the corner of Highway 101 and Plaza Street/Lomas Santa Fe Drive. Plaques honor local residents who fought in World War II and the Vietnam War.

I performed a search to learn more about this memorial, but a Waymarking link to an old North County Times article concerning its creation is broken. Apparently the memorial was dedicated on March 26, 2009.

Beneath the plaques are the bold words FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

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!

Veterans honored at VA Medical Center trolley station.

Veterans are conspicuously honored at the new VA Medical Center trolley station. The station opened for service last month as part of the San Diego Trolley’s Mid-Coast extension. If you’d like to see photos from the Blue Line extension’s big opening day, click here.

Plaques and flags representing five branches of the United States Armed Services, and words like Duty and Sacrifice embedded in the station’s platform, salute those who’ve worked to defend our nation and the freedoms we enjoy.

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 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!