Veterans alter rules for Soledad plaques


The Mount Soledad Memorial Association has expanded the criteria for veterans who can be honored with plaques on the six veterans walls that were erected in 2001 at the memorial atop Mount Soledad.

Now, rather than just war veterans, all veterans, living and deceased, from all branches of service of the U.S. military (Navy, Marines, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard), who were honorably discharged, are eligible to be honored with a black granite plaque on the Honor Walls. Merchant Marine Veterans who served in World War II are also eligible.

“It is very evident that even during peacetime, veterans served honorably,” said Bill Kellogg, chairman of the association’s board of trustees. He referenced peacetime activities that the military has faced such as Bosnia, Somalia, Panama, the undeclared Cold War and the Cuban conflict.

“Many of these veterans did participate in combat situations and police actions,” said Ed Ward, association president. “All veterans have been prepared and trained for wartime action. Whether in wartime or peace, our military is constantly asked to put itself in harm’s way, and those who serve during times of peace are also protecting the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.”

Only 500 of the original 3,200 plaque locations are still available on the six veterans walls.

The memorial was dedicated in 1954 when a 29-foot concrete cross was erected on the mountain in honor of veterans of the Korean War.

Celebrities on the memorial walls include band leader Maj. Gen. Alton Glenn Miller, actor Brig. Gen. Jimmy Stewart, flying ace and San Diego Padres announcer Jerry Coleman, and Presidents Reagan and Ford.

The Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial, owned by the federal government, is at Soledad Natural Park, 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive South.

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