After the long-fought battles of World War I, the war was finally over at 11:00 on 11/11/1918 when Germany signed the Armistice. The next year, President Woodrow Wilson noted that November 11 would be a day of remembrance and in 1938, every November 11 became a national holiday. Over time, the holiday continued to evolve to include the honoring of all living and deceased veterans from all wars. In case you have not already made plans to celebrate Veterans Day this weekend, here are some ideas in and around San Diego!
Go to the Parade
The Veterans Day Parade will be held in downtown San Diego on Monday November 12, 2012. The parade is set to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the breaking of the sound barrier. Attending the parade is a great way to show our past and present veterans your support. Military members can ride free on the Coaster, Sprinter, and buses this weekend through Monday and their family members can take advantage of half price fares!
Visit a National Park
Southern California has a number of National Parks within a few hours’ drive. This weekend, there will be free access to all of the nation’s National Parks. This means Cabrillo National Monument, located in Point Loma near downtown. The monument offers a variety of attractions including hiking, checking out the tidepools, and visiting the lighthouse. Although named for the first European explorer to the west coast and focused on early exploration, Point Loma has also historically provided a unique coastal defense area, and military history exhibits abound at Cabrillo National Monument. If you are in the mood for travel, you could visit Joshua Tree National Park near Palm Desert or the Channel Islands National Park near Los Angeles for a weekend outdoor retreat!
Go to the Museums
San Diego also offers the USS Midway Museum, which provides free admission to active duty military personnel. The museum features tours and a number of activities such as learning Morse code walking through aircraft. Note, however, that the museum will be closed on Veterans Day for the Carrier Classic basketball game featuring the San Diego State Aztecs against the Syracuse Orange. Additionally, the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park will be open this weekend with Veterans Day open houses and free admission to all San Diego residents on Tuesday.
Regardless of what you and your family decide to do this weekend, remember the men and women who have served our country in many wars, including our service men and women who remain in Iraq and Afghanistan today. As the saying goes, “Freedom is not free,” and we owe a profound debt to our service members who put their lives on the line for our way of life. At the very least, when you see any of our military personnel who live all over the county, smile and wish them a Happy Veterans Day! They’ve earned it.
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