Veterans Day Ceremonies Begin Friday with Memorial Monument Dedication

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US Flag. Photo credit: U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class Dennis Cantrell

Events celebrating and commemorating San Diego County’s veterans continue Friday before the holiday itself, including a memorial dedication and delivery of meals to a World War II veteran.

The Woody Williams Foundation and a volunteer committee will unveil the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument at Miramar National Cemetery Friday, “honoring families who have sacrificed a loved one for our freedom in the armed forces of the United States,” a foundation statement reads.

The ceremony will take place at the Memorial Walk at Miramar National Cemetery at 5795 Nobel Drive at 11 a.m. This monument will be the first such memorial monument in the area, despite having more than 130 similar monuments across the United States.

“We owe it to San Diego, home to so many active military, veteran and Gold Star families, to honor, recognize, and serve the families who have sacrificed so much in the name of freedom,” said the late Woody Williams, founder of the foundation and WW II Medal of Honor recipient. Williams died June 29, 2022.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the memorial was held on Sept. 11, 2023, in which participants used WW II-era tools and helmets rather

than the traditional construction shovels and helmets to ceremonially break ground.

“I am truly honored to walk with the city of San Diego, Gold Star Family members, and the local community to bring this Gold Star Families Memorial Monument to San Diego,” said David Myers, chairman of the San Diego Gold Star Families Memorial Monument committee.

At noon, Meals on Wheels San Diego County will make a special delivery to 98-year-old WW II veteran Calvin O’Daniels in Oceanside.

O’Daniels has been a Meals on Wheels San Diego County client since September 2018. He served in Normandy from 1943-1946 as a Technical Seargant.

The nonprofit’s president and CEO, Brent Wakefield, will deliver the veteran’s meal, a gift and a “thank you for your service.”

Fleet Week San Diego will host its Innovation Zone from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Broadway Pier, 1000 N. Harbor Road. The Port Pavilion Building will showcase some of the latest equipment used in both military and civilian applications.

Additionally, Fleet Week will host tours of Navy and Coast Guard ships docked at the Broadway Pier. Tours are available on a first-come, first- served basis. Visitors must be at least five years old to tour the ships. Strollers, glass, large bags and large backpacks will not be permitted on board. Closed toe shoes are highly recommended.

Those with business with the city and county of San Diego will have to wait until Monday for most services.

San Diego administrative offices and other services will be closed in observance of the Veterans Day holiday, including libraries, container sales, swimming pools and recreation centers, reservoirs with the exception of Murray and El Capitan, Tecolote Canyon Nature Center, Parks and Recreation and Development Services Department offices and services.

Trash will be collected as usual and open facilities and services include Chollas Lake, city golf courses, Mission Trails Regional Park and Visitor Center, Tecolote Canyon Natural Park, city skate parks, and police and fire services.

Parking meters, time restrictions for parking on streets, yellow zones and posted street sweeping routes within the city will not be enforced.

— City News Service