The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial will honor Marine Corps Major Megan McClung, and our nation’s heroes through a live and virtual tribute event on 30 May 2021 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. (PDT) streamed right here on our website.
McClung was the first female Marine officer to be killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, as well as the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to be killed in action since the school was founded in 1845. Major McClung was serving as a Public Affairs Officer in Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
Our Keynote Speaker will be Lieutenant General Sean MacFarland, a retired three-star general who served in the United States Army. As a brigade combat team commander in Ramadi, Iraq, he is credited with fostering the Sunni Arab “Awakening” movement, which was instrumental in turning the tide of the war. While commanding III Corps, he also commanded all coalition forces in the war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria from 2015 to 2016, during which time coalition forces seized the initiative, recaptured nearly half of the enemy’s territory and set the conditions for the enemy’s final defeat. He was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential Persons of 2016.
The live and online commemoration will be again hosted by former News Anchor Marc Bailey, musical performances, a wreath laying, and missing-man flyby. We are honored to host Megan’s family, many of the Public Affairs Officers that served with her, and the United States Naval Academy Alumni Association.
Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial Considered one of the most unique veterans memorials in America. The only memorial that honors veterans, living or deceased, from the revolutionary war to the current war on terror, with an image of the veteran.
Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial has stood at the height of San Diego since 1954. It has gone through many trials to be what it is today—A Beacon of Freedom. Thousands of people that stood before our memorial were able to honor and recognize the thousands of military men and women who sacrificed for this country. We have the unique duty to create plaques for all military people—living or deceased—so that all members of the armed forces can be thanked for their service. Those who are recognized have served the Revolutionary War, both World Wars, and even today’s War on Terror.
Every plaque lists each veteran’s or serviceperson’s accomplishments during their term. If not for their hard work and love of our country, we would be barren of witnessing such selfless courage and dedicated heroism. We, as a memorial and country, are founded on their service.
Visiting Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial commemorates the sacrifices made not only by servicemembers, but also by the people who have kept Mt. Soledad Memorial operating. Our volunteers and ever generous donators are another reason the memorial has continued to operate. They have kept the plaques clean, parking lots trash free, and our presence known.
We hope to see you at the Veterans Memorial!
As I am sure that you are enjoying your summer activities with your families and friends, I would like to take a few minutes of your vacation time to provide you a brief update on our programs and future happenings at the Memorial. However, I would first like to convey my sincere gratitude to each of you for sharing your patriotic spirit by continuing to support the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. We know that in these times of economic uncertainty which we are all experiencing, that you may have considered another cause to give to. Thank you for electing to support the most pristine veterans memorial in the country. We are proud to have you as our friend.
I have some exciting news to share with you. If you have been to the Memorial lately you may have noticed that we have a limited number of plaque spaces available. WE HAVE HIT THE WALL!
Beginning in 2000 the veterans honor wall concept with black granite plaques displaying individual photos of veterans and their service came to life at the Memorial. On Memorial Day 2001, Phase I consisting of 6 walls and 4 benches with spaces for 3,200 plaques was unveiled. The overwhelming desire to have a veteran honor plaque on the majestic walls surrounding the cross was tremendous. The demand for more space initiated the design and construction of Phase II and on May 15th 2013, 5 new walls were dedicated, providing the capacity of 2,200 more plaques. Today, we near Phase II capacity with a limited amount of plaque spaces remaining.
We now have plans to add extensions to 5 walls, thereby increasing wall surface and providing 2,000 additional plaque spaces. Please help us make this possible.
On August 16th the Association will formally begin construction to fulfill this requirement, remaining true to our mission of Honoring and Preserving the Legacy of our Veterans. To commemorate this historical milestone, we will host a Groundbreaking ceremony to recognize the importance of this next chapter of our 70-year history as the caretakers of the most pristine Veterans Memorial in the Country. We are proud of our longstanding relationship with the George Dewhurst Construction Company of La Jolla who built the first walls in 2000. Our present-day cross was built and installed in the spring of 1954 by “Pancho” Dewhurst’s grandfather, Walter Dewhurst. We elected GDC to oversee the construction of our Phase III Expansion project with work being completed by December 1st.
Your requests for private ceremonies and events have been terrific. Our veterans’ programs continue to provide recognition to all those who have served. The beautiful and tranquil setting at the Memorial allows families and friends the solitude to learn about the service of their loved ones. We are humbled to be able to meet so many wonderful people. Additionally, we are experiencing a steady increase of daily visitors as our Docents welcome folks from the around the globe. It is typical for them to meet and greet visitors from the UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, the Mid East, Japan, Korea, Central and South America.
We welcome you to bring your guests to the Memorial for a visit and share our story.
On behalf of our Board of Trustees, our dedicated employees and volunteers ,we thank you for your ongoing continued support of our very special memorial!