Veterans Day on Nov. 11 is a federal holiday honoring military veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Originally known as Armistice Day, the observance commemorates the end of World War I, which ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. That is when the armistice with Germany went into effect ending “the war to end all wars.” The federal holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
Distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May honoring those who’ve died in military service, Veterans Day honors all who’ve served, living and deceased, in all U.S. armed services.
This year, Nov. 11 falls on a Thursday. But most public observances of the federal holiday will either be before or after, the actual holiday.
Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation, which includes Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive in Point Loma, is sponsoring a Veterans Day 2021 Video Program. That program will be posted at miramarcemetery.org beginning Tuesday, Nov. 9.
The foundation program’s featured speaker will be Navy Lt. Cmdr. Christopher Ludmer, a survivor of the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon.
The guest speaker will be assistant fire chief John Wood of the San Diego Fire Department. He was the leader of the SDFD Search & Rescue Team that responded to the Twin Towers tragedy.
Fort Rosecrans became a national cemetery on Oct. 5, 1934. The decision to make the post cemetery part of the national system came, in part, due to changes in legislation that greatly increased the number of persons eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
The annual observance at Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial at 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South in La Jolla, will be held in-person and remotely on Saturday, Nov. 13 from noon to 1 p.m.
Keynote speaker for the event will be Rear Admiral Cynthia A. Kuehner, commander of Naval Medical Forces Support Command and senior nurse in the United States Navy.
She previously served with the 1st Force Service Support Group in Fallujah, Iraq, providing direct casualty care during the height of combat operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the first battle of Fallujah.
"From the hills at Gettysburg and the Meuse, to the jungles of Tarawa and Khe Sanh, to the arid lands of Fallujah and Kabul, the Nurse Corps has played a key role in caring for our armed service men and women. We honor them for their compassion, dedication, and service to our country,” stated Phil Kendro, vice president of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association.
Mt. Soledad veterans will also commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This year’s memorial plaque honors the Nurse Corps of the United States Army, Navy, and Air Force. Following the ceremony, the Nurse Corps plaque will join more than 5,200 other plaques enshrined on the walls surrounding the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial. Honorees include U.S. presidents, 12 Medal of Honor recipients, generals, and celebrity veterans.
The event can be viewed at veteransdaylive.org. In addition to street parking, event parking is available at Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church at 6551 Soledad Mountain Road, and the French American School’s two lots at 6550 Soledad Mountain Road. Complimentary Old Town Trolley shuttles run regularly the day of the event from parking areas. Parking at the memorial parking lot is available only to those with a reserved parking pass. For more information, visit soledadmemorial.org.
Leading into Veterans Day, Feeding San Diego is holding a series of free food distributions that celebrate local military families through Nov. 13. Feeding San Diego will celebrate local heroes at its Together Tour large-scale food distributions, some of which are still seeing up to 1,000 attendees drive-through.
Providing food assistance to the local military community is a year-round priority for the county’s leading hunger-relief and food rescue nonprofit. Feeding San Diego is partnering with six of its community partners, all of whom will join the organization at its food distributions across the county.