The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial will honor the 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, during a plaque presentation ceremony that begins at 2 p.m., Memorial Day, Monday May 30, 2016.
The event will feature keynote speaker Captain Craig Clapperton, USN, Commanding Officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN- 71), now homeported in Coronado.
Captain Clapperton is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. He was commissioned in 1989 and designated a Naval Flight Officer in 1991. In 2008, he earned a Master of Arts in National Strategy and Security Studies from the Naval War College with highest distinction and was a member of the college’s elite Stockdale Group.
He is a distinguished graduate of the Navy Nuclear Power training Command and completed nuclear power training in 2010. He previously served as Executive Officer of the Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) and participated in Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.
During the creemonies, guest speaker Phil Roosevelt will commemorate his distant relative, President Roosevelt. He is the great-grandson of Emlen Roosevelt, a noted investor and philanthropist, who was a first cousin of Theodore Roosevelt and his lifelong financial advisor. Phil Roosevelt is the chairman of the Youngs Memorial Cemetery in Oyster Bay, New York where President Roosevelt is buried.
A lifelong journalist who holds an MBA and an MS in journalism (both from Columbia University), Phil Roosevelt serves as managing editor of Barron’s, the weekly investment magazine of Dow Jones.
The Mt. Soledad Memorial Day ceremony will include music by MCRD Marine Corps Band, MCRD Color Guard and Rifle Team. As in years past, a moving “Fly By” conducted by the San Diego Performance Team Aircraft, will cross over the Memorial following the keynote address, executing the traditional Missing Man formation.
Attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Old Town Trolley will provide complimentary shuttle service to and from the Memorial from nearby Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church (6551 Soledad Mountain Road) and The French-American School (6550 Soledad Mountain Road) parking lots.
About Teddy Roosevelt:
Theodore Roosevelt (Oct. 27, 1858-Jan. 6, 1919) was the youngest man to ever hold the presidency of the United States. Following the assassination of William McKinley in September, 1901, he succeeded to the presidency and was elected to a full term in 1904.
A true American statesman, explorer, soldier, naturalist and reformer, Roosevelt has been widely viewed as the country’s most energetic president. He clearly enjoyed being President and during his term established the U.S. Forest Service, the first five National Parks, set forth the process to build the Panama Canal and as a leader of the Republican Party in the early 20th century, became a driving force for the Progressive Era in the United States.
He was a genuine intellectual — a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard and the author of more than 30 books, including the four-volume “Winning of the West,” “The Naval War of 1812” and “Autobiography” — all of which are considered classics. In “The Rough Riders,” he tells the story about the United States 1st Voluntary Calvary, which he organized after resigning as Assistant Secretary of the Navy. The hard-scrabble rough riders played a significant role in assisting the U.S. military in the Spanish-American War.
Roosevelt’s quotes have stood the test of time, as well. Although he is best known for the adage, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far,” other quotes reflect his character as well:
▪ “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing and the worst thing you can do is nothing”;
▪ “Wars are, of course, as a rule to be avoided, but they are far better than certain kinds of peace”; and
▪ “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
About the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial:
The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial is one of the most unique veterans memorials in the United States. It stands high on La Jolla’s Mt. Soledad, offering panoramic views of San Diego, the mountains, the Pacific Ocean and Mexico, honoring individual veterans, living and deceased, who served the country in its continuing quest for freedom from the days of the Revolutionary War up to the current conflicts in the Middle East. More than 4,200 individual veteran tributes, embedded on black granite plaques, are mounted onto 11 curved walls.
IF YOU GO: The Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial at 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South in La Jolla is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. It is owned and operated by The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association, with offices at 565 Pearl St., Suite 301 in La Jolla. (858) 459-2314. soledadmemorial.com
Other 2016 Memorial Day events in San Diego:
Miramar National Cemetery
▪ San Diego veterans and their families, active duty military and members of the public are invited to attend a Veterans Memorial Service at Miramar National Cemetery, 1-2 p.m., Sunday, May 29, 2016.
▪ The annual event is sponsored by the Miramar National Cemetery Support Foundation.
▪ Miramar National Cemetery is at 5795 Nobel Drive, west of the Marine Corps Air Station, off Miramar Road and I-805.
▪ The program will feature a welcome by Foundation CEO Dennis A. Schoville, followed by remarks from guest speaker ‘San Diego Veteran of the Year’ Ed Berger, a retired Navy Chief Warrant Officer and featured speaker Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, Commanding General, Fort Irwin, Calif. Other participants include Chaplain Major Saul Castillo of the California Army National Guard, the 40th Infantry Division Band, bagpiper John Forrest, and the San Diego Young Marine Color Guard.