San Diegans celebrate Memorial Day with ceremonies at Fort Rosecrans, Alpine and Mt. Soledad

Events will honor and thank veterans

SAN DIEGO - Memorial Day ceremonies in San Diego County were scheduled Monday including a service at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, an event at the Alpine Community Center and a ceremony at Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial featuring a tribute to two former Navy SEALs killed in the attack on a U.S. consulate compound Benghazi.
   
The Memorial Day service and Day of Remembrance at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery began at 10 a.m.
   
Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander of the Navy Region Southwest, delivered the Memorial Day address for the 113th Memorial Service and Day of  Remembrance. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was the event's guest speaker and the Navy Southwest Band played patriotic music.
    
The program will also include a reading of the Gettysburg Address, "Lament for a Soldier" and General Order 11, issued in 1868 that called for decorating the graves of those who died in defense of the country, officials said.
  
Veterans also gathered at the Alpine Community Center to share their stories, and the Buecker Squadron conducted a fly over in vintage WWII planes.
   
The 11 a.m. event, which also included food and music, was held to thank veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and to thank the community for supporting the creation of the Alpine Veterans Wall of Honor at the community center and constructed from 442 tiles representing military veterans and those currently serving.
   
"Appreciation is a powerful sentiment; it makes us stand up to honor those who have made a difference," Wall of Honor Committee Chairman Dan Foster said. "We know our fellow Americans who gave everything made a difference. But, on this day, we also acknowledge this wonderful community that made the Veterans Wall of Honor possible."
   
At 2 p.m., the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial will host a Memorial Day ceremony, in which former Navy SEALs Glen A. Doherty, of Encinitas, and Tyrone S. Woods, of Imperial Beach, will be honored in a special plaque presentation.
   
Doherty and Woods were killed last year in the attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi while working as security officers, along with San Diego native Sean Smith. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens was also killed in the attack.
   
The keynote speaker for the event will be Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, commander of the Naval Warfare Command.

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