First started to honor the Union soldiers who died in the American Civil War, Memorial Day was extended after World War I to include all service men and women who died serving their country. So, mark your calendars for Sunday, May 30th, and get ready to salute the brave soldiers of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Serving as an operational U.S. Navy vessel for 50 years, the USS Midway is a renowned piece of San Diego’s rich maritime history. Today, the floating museum features impressive displays of military technology and history exhibits.
When Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo landed at the southern tip of the Point Loma Peninsula on September 28, 1542, it marked the first time a European explorer had set foot on the West Coast of the United States. Designated a historical landmark in 1932, the national park also includes the cherished Old Point Loma Lighthouse, a cherished San Diego landmark since its construction in 1855.
Honoring service men and women of all branches of military, this glorious 43-ft cross pays tribute to veterans of the Korean War. With inspiring views of San Diego County that stretch from the Pacific Ocean to the mountains, it’s the perfect spot to linger over the vista and enjoy a quiet moment of peaceful reflection.
History buffs will revel at the collection of military heritage works along the Embarcadero, including the “USS San Diego Memorial” and the “Homecoming” sculpture of a solider and his happy return home. The collection also includes “Unconditional Surrender,” a gigantic sculpture by J. Seward Johnson that depicts the iconic black and white photograph of a soldier celebrating the end of World War II by kissing a young nurse in Times Square, New York City.
Top Gun Film Locations
Get into the patriotic spirit at Kansas City Barbeque, a favorite local spot in downtown San Diego. It’s also the same location where the bar scenes in the 1986 classic “Top Gun” was filmed. Besides offering generous servings of the best barbeque in town, the walls are lined with autographed photos and mementos from the movie to inspire 80s nostalgia.
Housed in a former WWII era Navel Chapel, the museum and memorial center honors all who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. The memorial includes the Veterans Memorial Garden, the B-24 Memorial that honors soldiers who were MIA or killed in Vietnam, and the San Diego Vietnam Peace Memorial, which honors the bravery of service men and women from San Diego. After a stroll through the Veterans Memorial Garden, explore the cultural depiction of war with exhibits and displays of artwork and murals.
In a coastal city known for its rich maritime history, San Diego is the perfect place to discover inspiring sculptures, museum exhibits, and memorials dedicated to the soldiers of the U.S. Military.