SOLANA BEACH — The Solana Beach community honored those who lost their lives serving in the military and their families on Monday during an annual Memorial Day ceremony at La Colonia Park, led by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 5431.
The annual event memorialized veterans of the Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Marine Corps, and honored their comrades who are still alive to tell their stories.
“We all respect and support those who are giving their daily lives and all too often their entire lives in the service,” Mayor Lesa Heebner said, speaking to the crowd of over 50 people at the ceremony.
Along with members of VFW Post 5431 and city leaders, youth played a large role in the event. Students from the Santa Fe Christian School band provided music for the ceremony, and the Camp Pendleton Young Marines served as the color guard.
In addition, Mira Mesa High School senior and Air Force Junior ROTC member Collin Farrar served as the guest speaker for the event. Farrar, who hopes to eventually enlist in the Air Force, described his experience cleaning headstones of fallen soldiers while volunteering with his ROTC group.
“The headstones we were cleaning that day belonged to the brave that once walked with us. They were, and will always be, the valiant souls who protected our nation so we could live in freedom,” Farrar said.
Shannon Bradley from the office of Congressman Mike Levin (CA-49) also shared a proclamation on behalf of VFW Post 5431 on behalf of the 49th Congressional District.
In concluding the ceremony, VFW Post member Randy Treadway led a dove release to memorialize those who have died.
Afterward, residents went inside to the Community Center, where photos of former local service members are displayed on the walls, and toured the local heritage museum at the park.