By Wayne Eggleston
It is time to honor all veterans from all U.S. Armed Forces.
Originally named Armistice Day after fighting ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month between Allied nations and Germany during World War I—known then as the Great War—Veterans Day marked the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. President Eisenhower changed the name in 1954.
This year at Park Semper Fi, we will be honoring all veterans on Sunday, Nov. 14, at 2 p.m. The community is welcome to attend, and parking is available first-come, first-served.
The San Clemente Exchange Club will be dedicating a beautiful plaque to General J. K. Davis, former assistant commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps and resident of San Clemente.
The Marine Corps League will be paying a tribute to the 13 Marine, Navy, and Army servicemembers who were tragically killed in Afghanistan at the Kabul airport on Aug. 26 during the evacuation of thousands of Afghan civilians and military personnel.
Our Camp Pendleton lost nine Marines and one sailor from the 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, while 17 others were wounded. The chaplain from 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment will give the invocation. Patriotic music will be provided by the Pete Jacobs Band
Park Semper Fi is in the process of designing a plaque to honor those killed that fateful day, and it will be dedicated on Memorial Day in 2022.
In December, we will have a rendering of the proposed plaque, and those who wish to contribute their tax-deductible donations can visit marinemonument.com. We have extended our Honor Wall to accommodate this plaque.
There are a number of very credible and worthwhile San Clemente nonprofits that support our military, and I wish to give them credit.
Marine Corps League, South Coast Detachment 022, meets every third Tuesday of the month at the Elks Lodge. They have been outstanding in supporting the families and Marines from 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment involved in the Afghanistan tragedy.
They have been at Camp Pendleton each time various troops have returned with a welcome booth of refreshments and “goody bags” filled with day-to-day items.
You may know the San Clemente Military Family Outreach as the organizers of distributing 1,000 Thanksgiving turkeys to Camp Pendleton Marines/sailors, along with all the fixings for a traditional holiday meal.
Their “number one job” is responding to the day-to-day requests for emergency assistance, as well as diapers, food, clothing, gas, car repairs, and other unexpected financial challenges. They are an all-volunteer 501(c)3 and an outstanding group.
A new organization that is also responding to the aftermath of the Kabul airport bombing is San Clemente Proud. The private golf club Bella Collina San Clemente has created a fundraising initiative to help the families of the fallen servicemembers by inviting local businesses to donate a portion of their proceeds raised on Veterans Day.
They have partnered with our local 501(c)3 nonprofit The Heritage of San Clemente Foundation, creator of The Marine Monument at Park Semper Fi, and Marine Corps League. The Foundation is helping to collect tax-deductible donations and will use the San Clemente-based Marine Corps League to distribute these funds.
We will work with the 2/1 chaplain and command to make sure this outreach effort is distributed to benefit the families of our fallen.
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.