SAN DIEGO - Memorial Day ceremonies kicked off Saturday morning in San Diego County with a Veterans wreath remembrance aboard the flight deck of the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum.
Veterans from World War II to Operation Desert Storm, along with active-duty sailors participated in the ceremony.
Museum officials say the event is designed to encourage families and youngsters to participate in a way to inspire patriotism and appreciation for those who have served our country.
Chris Montera threw one of the wreaths. He tells 10News, he's reminded of the service members who stood next to him during his 3 tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He adds, "you fight for the guy besides you and when they give everything for you there’s no word that can describe that.”
WW2 survivor Stuart Hedley, who also participated in the event, adds, “ those are the real heroes, those who sacrifice their lives, so we can have this remembrance in honor of them. “
On Sunday at 1 p.m. a Veterans memorial service will take place at the Miramar National Cemetery. More than 800 people are expected to attend.
Major Gen. Steven Busby, commander of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, will be the featured speaker. Forrmer prisoners of war and Korean War veterans are scheduled to attend the service, as are members of the Navy Nurse Corps Association, the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, the American Military Retirees Association and members of other local veterans groups.
The Veterans memorial service will be held in the cemetery's Memorial Circle at the eastern end of the Avenue of Flags.
On Monday, a traditional Memorial Day service and Day of Remembrance is planned for 10 a.m. at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.
Rear Adm. Dixon R. Smith, commander of the Navy Region Southwest, will deliver the Memorial Day address and San Diego Mayor Bob Filner will be the event's guest speaker. 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. The event is sponsored by the Fort Rosecrans Memorial Day Committee.
Also on Monday, veterans will gather at the Alpine Community Center and share their stories, followed by food music and a fly over by Buecker Squadron in vintage WWII planes. The 11 a.m. event is being held to thank veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for the country and to thank the community for supporting the creation of the Alpine Veterans Wall of Honor at the community center constructed with tiles representing military veterans and those currently serving.
At 2 p.m. Monday, the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial will host a Memorial Day ceremony, in which former Navy SEALS Glen A. Doherty and Tyrone S. Woods who were killed in the attack on the U.S. consulate compound in Benghazi will be honored during a plaque presentation.
The keynote speaker for the event will be Rear Adm. Sean Pybus, commander of the Naval Warfare Command.