SAN FRANCISCO - After 82 years of waiting, the San Francisco
Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony was held during Fleet Week at
the Memorial Court in San Francisco on October 10, 2014.
the Blue Angles flying overhead and a crowd of families, friends,
active duty and retired military, one veteran said it was worth the
U.S. Service members, veterans and locals
attend the San Francisco Veterans Memorial Dedication Ceremony
during San Francisco Fleet Week 2014 on Oct. 10, 2014. San Francisco
has hosted fleet week for more than 30 years, and has invited
Marines and Sailors to showcase a variety of capabilities in
response to emerging disasters. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl.
“We finally did it. We kept the promise by dedicating the
Veterans Memorial today,” said retired Maj. Gen. J. Michael Myatt,
president of the Marines Memorial Association. “Almost five years of
effort, but we feel good about it.”
Myatt also said that
having the ceremony during fleet week was no accident. Several
active duty servicemembers stood in formation throughout the
ceremony to show their respect.
“We wanted to get it done
during fleet week because we have all the military here, and it was
really special,” said Myatt.
However, the memorial is not
meant just to honor those who were promised the recognition over
eight decades ago. The ceremony had several guest speakers,
including Sen. Dianne Feinstein who asked people to keep in mind all
of the Americans still serving.
“The message was not only
remember the past, those that paid the ultimate sacrifice,” said
Maj. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese, the commanding general of 1st
Marine Logistics Group. “But remember the present, those who have
fought and who are wearing the uniform today.”
While few of
the veterans who served when the initial promise of the memorial was
made could attend the dedication, there was no shortage of family
and fellow servicemembers to represent and remember them.
Two veterans and members of the American
Legion placed a box containing soil from various conflicts into the
San Francisco Veterans Memorial at its dedication ceremony in
Memorial Court San Francisco on Oct. 10, 2014. Our Sailors, Marines
and Coast Guardsmen are motivated, dedicated professionals who
joined the all-volunteer service from all corners of America, but
share the common values of honor, courage, and commitment, and the
common virtues of selfless service and devotion to duty. (U.S.
Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Caitlin Bevel)
“I think the families of the veterans who have
passed, the family members who were here today, you could
see the pride in their eyes,” said Coglianese. “I think it's
important, and I think we're doing a better job of
remembering those vets.”
Coglianese emphasized that
he hopes the memorial will help the people of San Francisco,
and anyone who visits, feel more connected to the men and
women serving to protect them.
“When I talk in public
about the Marine Corps, it's not my Marine Corps it's their
Marine Corps,” said Coglianese. “Hopefully when they come by
here they'll remember that it's their Sailors, Marines,
By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Caitlin Bevel
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