How San Diego Honors its Military for Memorial Day

The military backbone of San Diego has created a long tradition of honoring its veterans. From the Coast Guard base to the Marine Corps Air Station to the fighter jets and aircraft carriers, reminders of how U.S. veterans have sacrificed for their country can be found all around the city.

Memorial Day is a popular time for a weekend getaway, but it’s important to remember why we celebrate in the first place—America’s veterans.

Here are some ways San Diego honors its veterans with Memorial Day Events:


  • Legacy Week at the USS Midway Museum is the ultimate celebration of and tribute to veterans in San Diego. From May 26th through the 28th, visitors can pay homage to our heroes and celebrate the United States’ military heritage. With a wreath ceremony, live entertainment, a blood drive, and a chance to meet aviators, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy while honoring veterans. This year you can even catch the action on Facebook Live!
  • All year long, the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in the former World War II-era Navy Chapel in Balboa Park honors the men and women who have served in the U.S. military. The museum hosts events on Memorial Day (this year’s events to be determined), but it also hosts exhibits and displays, as well as memorial services for fallen heroes.
  • Sitting atop a hill by the ocean, the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is one of America’s most unique veteran’s memorials. The historic landmark is home to more than 3,500 plaques dedicated to vets on the memorial walls and is the only memorial that honors veterans from the Revolutionary War to today. Its Memorial Day Ceremony will commemorate the nation’s fallen heroes and includes a special plaque presentation, honoring Ulysses S. Grant, complete with live music from Navy and Marine Corps bands as well as a 21 gun salute.
  • A free and open-to-the-public memorial service at the Miramar National Cemetery will take place on Sunday, May 27th. This year’s honored guests will include Thomas G. Bowmen, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Free parking and shuttles are provided.
  • The Vista Civic Center hosts a Memorial Day ceremony this year with speakers, music, and a 10 a.m. tribute to U.S. veterans. Be sure to stick around afterward for a reception and live music at American Legion Post 365.
  • Each year, Navy units in San Diego continue the time-honored traditional of two 21-gun salutes at noon on Memorial Day. Beginning simultaneously, the salutes will take place on a base on Coronado Island and the Makin Island assault ship at the San Diego Naval Base. The U.S. flag will fly at half-staff until noon to honor those who died in service.


Looking for more ways to explore San Diego? Check out Scripps Affiliated Medical Groups’ other articles for ideas!

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