Veterans and families will gather at Veterans Day ceremonies in Point Loma, Old Town and Balboa Park today to honor those who have served in America's armed forces.
San Diego County veterans organizations will gather for the ninth year at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery at 10 a.m. time to observe the holiday.
Col. Ray Roth, a 19-year veteran and a professor of military science at San Diego State University, will speak at the event.
The Al Bahr Shrine Legion of Honor unit will carry United States battle flags dating to the Revolutionary War. The Marine Corps Band, color guards from each branch of the armed forces and the Marine Corps Recruit Depot drill team will also participate.
For the first time, the Women's Army Corps, veterans of World War II, will participate in the event, master of ceremonies Parker J. Stahnke said. Other groups include the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Pearl Harbor Survivors and the Fleet Reserve Assn.
At the Vietnam Veterans' Memorial in Old Town at 4:30 p.m. today, Dave Hill, assistant director of The Vet Center, an outreach center for Vietnam veterans, will speak on the unity of all veterans. The memorial, with plaques listing San Diegans who died in Vietnam, is located at Taylor and Twiggs streets adjacent to the Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church.
The San Diego Veterans' Assn., an organization of homosexual men and women, will observe the holiday with a chow-line picnic at 5 p.m. in Balboa Park's Zoro Garden, behind the Rueben H. Fleet Space Theater.
At 6 p.m., Benjamin Dillingham, aide to Mayor Maureen O'Connor, will present association awards to veterans and active-duty service members who have "advanced the cause of liberty and justice for all through their service to the military and the gay community," association president Jim Woodward said.
Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Vietnam Veterans of San Diego Homeless Veterans Project.
At the Veterans Administration San Diego Medical Center in La Jolla, volunteers, patients and staff will observe the holiday and commemorate the 211th birthday of the United States Marine Corps Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the hospital.
Marine Corps Recruiting Depot Commanding Gen. Donald J. Fulham will be the guest of honor, and the Marine Corps Band will perform. A 1,000-piece cake will be cut to remember the Nov. 9 Marine Corps birthday.
On Friday, the hospital will offer a veterans' program for women from 9 a.m to noon, with Rear Adm. Francis Shea Buckley speaking at 10 a.m.
Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day, which was begun in 1926 to commemorate the signing in 1918 of the armistice ending World War I.
The name of the holiday was changed in 1954 to Veterans Day to honor all who have served in the United States armed forces.
All federal, state, county and city offices will be closed today in observance of Veterans Day. All banks also will close.
Although post offices will be closed, collection boxes with afternoon or evening pick-up times will be collected as usual. Boxes with only morning pick-up times will be collected the next day.
Federal, Superior and Municipal courts will be closed, but county park and recreation facilities will remain open.
City trash collection will be a day late for the rest of the week.