A fervent wish for this New Year: May There Be Peace on Earth.
Perhaps it’s futile to expect peaceful human coexistence on this crazy, mixed up planet. It often seems that way. That’s unfortunate. But it would be even more tragic to completely lose hope.
The creators of one poignant local memorial certainly yearned for the end of war. Because they understood war is brutal.
A row of plaques stand on the east side of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park. Originally called the San Diego Peace Memorial and installed in Old Town in 1969, the silent monument was renamed the Vietnam Veterans Peace Memorial in 1996 and moved to this location. It lists all San Diegans who were killed or designated missing in action during the Vietnam War.
Today’s Veterans Museum and Memorial Center is housed in the former chapel of the old San Diego Naval Hospital, which was built during World War II. Throughout the history of mankind, wars have invariably reminded us of the sanctity of peace.
In 2015, May There Be Peace on Earth.
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Today a special event was held at Balboa Park’s Veterans Museum and Memorial Center. The Spirit of 1945 National Day of Remembrance honored American veterans who defended freedom around the globe during World War II.
The Spirit of ’45 is an annual event held throughout the United States in many cities. It marks the anniversary of V-J Day, the day the Japanese finally surrendered and World War II ended. The special event has become increasingly important, as thousands of heroes from The Greatest Generation now pass away every year.
Many San Diego dignitaries attended today’s ceremony, including an ex-mayor, city council member, district attorney, police chief, plus some very high-ranking military officers. But in my mind, the day was all about ordinary Americans who personally sacrificed to do an extremely difficult and very important thing.
Several of these heroes recalled in short speeches what it was like to hear the news that the war had ended. You could hear the emotion in their voices, almost 70 years later.
After the ceremony, veterans told their personal stories inside the museum, so that memories will continue of those times and their deeds.
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