By Wayne Eggleston
The Marine Monument at Park Semper Fi, located in the San Clemente Pier Bowl and dedicated in November 2005, has a full schedule for the first half of 2023.
Park Semper Fi is available for military weddings, as well as reenlistment and memorial ceremonies.
Even though we have had a lot of rain, many visitors have enjoyed the beautiful views of the Pier Bowl and Pacific Ocean. We have installed a few non-military and military plaques in remembrance of loved ones on the Honor/Remembrance Wall.
We invite those who wish to have a plaque installed to email email@example.com for information.
As soon as the weather dries out more, we will have our adopted San Clemente Marine Corps unit, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, do the major landscaping and heavy lifting. In the meantime, our daily volunteers and the San Clemente Garden Club will keep our native plants in good shape.
On Friday, Feb. 3,at 1 p.m., the American Legion Post 423 and the Marine Corps League 022 will have the 80th anniversary commemoration of the sacrifice of the Four Immortal Chaplains who gave their lives to enlisted military when a German U-boat sank the SS Dorchester during an Atlantic crossing.
As there were not enough life jackets available, these four chaplains gave their lifejackets so others could live. The Four Chaplains, also referred to as the Immortal Chaplains, or the Dorchester Chaplains, were four World War II chaplains who died rescuing civilian and military personnel as the American troop ship SS Dorchester sank on Feb. 3, 1943, in what has been referred to as the second-worst sea disaster of WWII.
The public is invited, and parking is available.
On Memorial Day, May 29, at 2 p.m., we will have our annual Memorial Day Ceremony and will honor San Clemente Marines and veterans. Among them are Gunnery Sgt. Bob Harhay and Master Sgt. Hank Snyder.
The public is invited.
Our adopted Marine Corps unit, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines Camp Pendleton, is deployed with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and U.S. Navy sailors, assigned to the amphibious transport dock USS Anchorage (LPD 23), at Port of Colombo for Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training/Marine Exercise Sri Lanka.
CARAT/MAREX Sri Lanka is a bilateral exercise between Sri Lanka and the United States designed to promote regional security cooperation, practice humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, and strengthen maritime understanding, partnerships, and interoperability.
In its 28th year, the CARAT series comprises multinational exercises, designed to enhance U.S. and partner forces’ abilities to operate together in response to traditional and non-traditional maritime security challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
Maj. Gen. Joseph H. Pendleton saw a vision of a new USMC base in 1914, saying “the good weather and proximity of the harbor to the new Panama Canal makes San Diego a natural choice as a base for the Marine Corps’ Advance Base Force to be stationed on the West Coast.”
So, when World War II began, the government chose his vision, then known as Rancho Santa Margarita y Las Flores, now known as Camp Pendleton, as the USMC West Coast base.
In December 2022, a magnificent statue of the general, donated by the Camp Pendleton Historical Society, was dedicated across the street from the White House, which is the base of operations for the 1st Marine Division. A beautiful tribute, indeed.
Over the years, The Heritage of San Clemente Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), has provided an opportunity for the public to honor their military and non-military loved ones with a plaque on our Honor/Remembrance Wall.
Should you wish further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949.280.7752.
G. Wayne Eggleston is a former San Clemente councilmember and mayor, who previously sat on the city’s Planning Commission. He is the executive director of The Heritage of San Clemente Foundation.