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Photos by Chris Stone
On a solemn overcast morning, thousands made the annual pilgrimage to
Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery to hear prayers, speeches and songs on the 115th Memorial Service and Day of Remembrance.
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Gettysburg Address was recited by Gunnery Sgt. Daniel Hansen, and the trio of Janet, Josiah and Zachariah Simpson sang Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.”
The Sons of the American Revolution did a three-volley rifle salute, and the
Navy Band Southwest played the national anthem and a military medley in a 90-minute ceremony that also included a reading of “General Order No. 11,” which on May 30, 1868, marked the first Memorial Day — then called Decoration Day in honor of the Civil War dead.
Other Memorial Day events around San Diego County included ones at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park, Glen Abbey Memorial Park & Mortuary, Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial and a San Diego Veterans for Peace vigil until dusk on the lawn near the
USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum, where the names of the fallen in Afghanistan and Iraq were to be read.
Janet Simpson of San Diego stops to pay respects before singing in the Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Jill Millard, a gold star mother, and Jeff Simonides, tear up during the ceremony.
The The U.S. Navy Band Southwest and ceremony are reflected in a sousaphone.
Penny Bento, mother of Anthony Bento, shows a card she made for her son.
Jill Millard, a gold star mother, kisses her grandson Tristen. Her son, Gregory, died in Iraq in 2007.
Pam Quealy pays tribute to her parents who are buried at Fort Rosecrans. Quealy’s mother, an air traffic controller died in 2013.
A gun salute honored the fallen at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Jill and Kevin Millard received a flag in honor of their son who died in Iraq.
World War II veteran Glen Silvers moves a wreath during the Memorial Day ceremony at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
A gun salute honored fallen soldiers.
Pam Quealy visits her parents’ resting place at Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Jill Millard, whose son died in Iraq in 2007, gets emotional upon receiving a flag from Jeff Simonides, chairman of the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day committee.
Member of the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter stands at attention.
World War II veteran Glen Silvers participates in a wreath laying ceremony.
Family members created symbols and messages near family members’ graves.
State Senator Mary Block (left) and State Assemblyman Brian Jones stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
World War II veteran Elfren Solomon served in the military from 1938-1945.
Family members of Henry and Valerie Crews share a family ritual.
World War II veterans Eddie Carrillo, Glen Silvers and Vietnam War veteran Art Harris participated in the wreath laying ceremony.
Roses and flags decorate the graves at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Manuel Martinez, father of Sgt. Michael Martinez who was killed in 2007, salutes during the color guard ceremony
Debra Klein Smith brought two of her dogs to photograph them in front of her parent’s grave marker. Her husband, James, died from Agent Orange four months ago.
A young boy walks among the graves.
Claire Carlson wore her military earrings especially for the holiday.
‘Gettysburg’ Meets ‘God Bless the USA’ at Fort Rosecrans was last modified: May 25th, 2015 by >> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click here