“Our debt to the heroic men and women who have served this country can never be repaid, but we should always remain committed to honoring their legacy and fulfill our obligations to all veterans and their families who have sacrificed so much so that we can live free. Our bonds formed through service are strong, and we should seek to remain connected to our veterans and their ongoing needs, while encouraging ongoing efforts to provide them with resources and support.” 

– Brig. Gen. James Ryan, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego

“We need to remember that our country is no different than any other country that has fallen into the hands of dictators. If it weren’t for the brave men in uniform, we would not be living in freedom as we have for more than 200 years. Younger generations need to be aware of the sacrifices made so that they can live in freedom and not take their freedom for granted.”

– George Sousa, Korean War veteran and Purple Heart recipient

“We rightly celebrate many national holidays and observances each year. However, I think it’s especially important to set aside at least one day of the year to honor our nation’s military veterans, especially in a community like San Diego with such a large veteran population. Without those veterans’ devoted service in helping preserve all the freedoms we enjoy in this country, chances are we wouldn’t be able to celebrate any of those other holidays and observances.”

– Jack Ensch, retired naval aviator, Vietnam War veteran and former prisoner of war

“San Diego has a long and distinguished history as a military and military-friendly town and the parade is important to recognize all the contributions military members, both active duty and veterans, make to the vibrant life and economy of this great city. The parade and the Midway Museum also help remind people of the history and honor the sacrifices made by our military every single day.”

– Joellen Oslund, retired naval aviator and the first Navy female helicopter pilot

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