Honoring veterans at Mt. Soledad National Memorial
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — One of San Diego’s most traditional Veterans’ Day observances took place Friday at the summit of Mount Soledad.
The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Association saluted one of the United States Marine Corps’ and Major League Baseball’s most celebrated military veterans on Veterans Day when it saluted Ted Williams, San Diego native and USMC Korean War Veteran in a ceremony at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial.
The Veterans Day ceremony culminated with the unveiling of a special plaque recognizing Williams decorated service as USMC Aviator in two wars and pay tribute to his contributions to the nation. A special flyover of World War II Warbirds highlighted the ceremony. Hall of Fame sportscaster Dick Enberg delivered the commemorative speech for the ceremony.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to recognize Ted Williams and his service to the nation as a decorated Marine combat veteran and through him all those who have served and continue to serve on this Veterans Day," said Lou Scanlon, President of the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Association. "Ted Williams’ military service as a Marine Aviator represents the selfless sacrifice of all of our veterans and this ceremony will serve as a fitting reminder and a tribute to the sacrifices made by all those who have served our nation throughout its history."
Williams served as a U.S. Marine Corps Aviator in both World War II and the Korean War. His Korean War service came six games into the 1952 baseball season at the peak of his baseball career. He flew the Grumman F9F-5 Panther with VMF-311 with the Third Marine Aircraft Wing and accumulated 39 combat missions during the war. He earned three Air Medals among other decorations for his service in the Korean War.
"Ted Williams epitomizes the character and spirit demonstrated by all those who have served our nation honorably from the time of the Revolution," said Scanlon. "He was willing to put country before self and to do whatever was needed to protect our freedoms, no matter what the cost. All veterans should be recognized for this same commitment to our country on this special day. Veterans Day is a reminder that these sacrifices should never be forgotten.
Keynote speaker for the event was be Lt. Gen. L.A. Craparotta, Commanding General of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force. National Veterans of the Year were also recognized at the event.