The Mt. Soledad cross can be seen through a floral wreath placed at the memorial. Photo by Chris Stone

The Navy is honoring the men and women of the armed forces who have died in the service of their country with two 21-gun salutes this Memorial Day.

The practice of firing gun salutes has existed for centuries. Navy regulations for 1818 were the first to prescribe a specific manner for rendering gun salutes.

Those first regulations required that “when the President shall visit a ship of the United States’ Navy, he is to be saluted with 21 guns.” That was the number of states in the Union at that time.

On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag only flies at half-staff for the first half of the day, and then is raised to full height from noon to sundown. This unique custom honors the war dead for the morning, and living veterans for the rest of the day.

Residents of Coronado and San Diego near the Bay will probably hear the gun salutes.

In addition to the gun salutes, a number of Memorial Day ceremonies are scheduled around San Diego:

  • 10 a.m. at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive in Point Loma
  • 11 a.m. at La Colonia Park, 715 Valley Avenue in Solana Beach
  • 1 p.m. at La Vista Memorial Park and Mortuary, 3191 Orange Street in National City;
  • 1:30 p.m. at Greenwood Memorial Park, 4300 Imperial Avenue in San Diego
  • 2 p.m. at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial, 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South in La Jolla.

City News Service contributed to this article.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.