Veteran at Miramar National Cemetery
A veteran at Miramar National Cemetery pays tribute to his fellow servicemen who have fallen. Photo by Chris Stone

Memorial Day tributes begin Saturday around San Diego County and continue throughout the holiday weekend to honor military personnel who have been killed in action.

Saturday and Sunday, military veterans, active-duty service members and military families will have the opportunity to adopt a pet for free at the Helen Woodward Animal Center and the county’s two shelters in Carlsbad and Bonita. At the two county facilities, adopted animals will also receive free vaccinations, spay/neuter services, microchipping, licensing and veterinary exams.

The adoption promotions are part of the Animals for Armed Forces Foundation’s annual event. Adopters are required to show a form of military identification to be eligible for the promotion. The Helen Woodward Animal Center is located at 6523 Helen Woodward Way in Rancho Santa Fe, the Carlsbad shelter is located at 2481 Palomar Airport Road and the Bonita shelter is located at 5821 Sweetwater Road.

On Sunday, the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation will hold its eighth annual Veterans Memorial Service at Miramar National Cemetery to honor fallen soldiers. Various military officials from local bases are expected to attend and speak at the event. Roughly 600 military veterans, service members and their families are expected to attend, according to the foundation.

In Scripps Ranch, a celebration of life ceremony will be held for decorated World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veteran Col. Robert Dingeman, who died earlier this month at the age of 96. For his service, Dingeman received the Silver and Bronze stars, the Soldiers Medal and a Purple Heart. The ceremony will be held at Scripps Ranch High School’s gymnasium, beginning at 3 p.m.

On Monday, various Memorial Day Celebrations will be held at the Nuevo Memory Gardens Cemetery, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery and SeaWorld San Diego. The San Diego Blood Bank will also hold blood drives at the USS Midway and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7420, both beginning at 10 a.m. Donors at the USS Midway will receive free admission to the ship’s museum.

— City News Service

Chris Jennewein

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