70th anniversary of WW II’s end celebrated in La Jolla

One of the fully decorated wreaths at the Mount Soledad ceremony

San Diego Spirit of ’45 Day — a weekend of observances to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War — concluded in La Jolla Aug. 16 atop Mount Soledad with speakers, music and a wreath-laying ceremony. Similar ceremonies took place across the country that day, including one at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Ceremony.

Retired Marine Jack Harkins, former chair of United Veterans Council, emceed the event. “San Diego continues to live up to its honored role as the birthplace of National Spirit of ‘45 Day and leads in the simultaneous national jubilations, much in the way that Americans celebrated on Aug. 14, 1945 at the end of World War II,” he said.

At the La Jolla ceremony, approximately 100 participants placed flowers into wreaths in recognition of service.

Kathy Begrin, Joyce Means and Nancy Grigsby, place a flower in honor of Raymond Means (step-father and husband), a World War II veteran who passed away last month.
Song Pak places a flower in honor of all veterans, but specifically her husband, who served in multiple wars and who also attended the La Jolla ceremony.
Purple Heart recipient and keynote speaker Sergeant Major John Rougas said ‘Some people spend a lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. Veterans don’t have that problem.’