Story and photos by Chris Stone

It was the 114th Memorial Service and Day of Remembrance at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma. But for many this Memorial Day, it was as momentous as the first.

William Ford, 2, gazes at gravestone on Memorial Day. His mother came to honor her father.

“This is phenomenal,” said Jim Hogan, father of Navy Lance Cpl. Donald Hogan, who died in Afghanistan in 2009. “San Diego does more as a community to honor the fallen than anyone else. There’s no better place to be a sailor, Marine or soldier than San Diego.”

Local luminaries including Councilman Todd Gloria, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and new Assembly Speaker Toni Akins of San Diego joined thousands at the services on a bright and breezy morning.

Maj. Gen. Steven Busby gave the Memorial Day address. Busby, commander of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing, shared speaking honors with the Rev. Dennis Ginoza, who gave the invocation; Al Rago, discussing the meaning of military honors; Daniel Hanson, a young Marine who recited the Gettysburg Address; and Bradley Phillips, memorial service director with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Grossmont High School’s NJROTC advanced the colors (and raised and lowered the flag), and the Marine Band San Diego played the national anthem. The Sons of the American Revolution did the ceremonial three volley rifle salute, and the San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteer Association fired a cannon.

On Saturday, Boy Scouts from San Diego and Imperial counties placed flags before every headstone. But 10News noted some missing flags.

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