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.

Lincoln’s 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.

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