Please join us at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial for this year’s Veterans Day ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11:00 a.m. to honor all our Nation’s Veterans and commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. We encourage the public to attend this free event at the top of San Diego’s most iconic coastal peak.
As an official partner of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, an initiative authorized by Congress, our Veterans Day ceremony will honor the service and sacrifice of all veterans and their families, with special recognition paid to Vietnam-era veterans, Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action.
The ceremony’s Keynote Speaker will be former U.S. Attorney Robert S. Brewer, Jr., who served in Vietnam as an Airborne Ranger and Infantry Officer in the U.S. Army. He received a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars for his heroic combat service. Brewer then went on to become a prominent San Diego litigator after receiving his law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. He later served as the Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County and Assistant District Attorney for California’s Central District. In January 2019, he was sworn in as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of California.
Henry James “Jim” Bedinger, Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.), will be honored at this year’s ceremony. Bedinger was born in 1945 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1963 and entered the Aviation Volunteer Reserve Officer Candidate program at NAS Pensacola, Florida in June 1966. He completed Naval Flight Officer training and was awarded his Naval Flight Officer wings in May 1968. Bedinger served in Vietnam as an F-4 Radar Intercept Officer aboard the aircraft carrier USS Constellation. In November 1969, he was forced to eject over Laos. He was taken as a Prisoner of War and was held at Hoa Lao – infamously known as the “Hanoi Hilton” – for 1,223 days until his release in March 1973 through Operation Homecoming.
He retired from the Navy in August 1989 and continues to call America’s Finest City home. He is also the author of Patriot, Prisoner, Survivor: An American Family at War. The book recounts his experiences of heroism, endurance, and the shared struggle in the fight for freedom. It also serves as a reminder of an individual’s impact on the course of history.
The Memorial is located at 6905 La Jolla Scenic Dr. South, La Jolla, CA 92037. Free parking will be available at the Mount Soledad Presbyterian Church and the French American School.