The 43-foot cross atop Mt. Soledad has been at the center of First Amendment litigation since 1989. Let’s put the controversy aside for a moment. A trip to Mt. Soledad Park in La Jolla is great for three reasons: the view, to pay respects to our military, and a little history lesson.
The park is home to beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean to the west, the mountains to the east and sometimes on a clear day Mexico to the south. The park is also home to the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial. The war memorial holds more than 3,000 plaques honoring veterans, both living and deceased, from the Revolutionary War to current conflicts in the Middle East. And many of those veterans are well known Americans.
Please use the attached map to help you locate the plaques. Finding the plaques could also be a fun game for children visiting the war memorial.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was a five-star general in the U.S. Army during World War II and was the 34th President of the United States. Wall F. Facing South. Row 5.
Gerald Ford was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II, commander in chief from 1974 to 1977, and 38th President of the United States. Wall E. Facing East. Row 1.
Bob Hope was the first honorary veteran of the U.S. He received this honor by Act of Congress and is known as an entertainer who did numerous USO shows. Wall F. Facing W. Row 1.
A. Glenn Miller was a major in the U.S. Army Air Force and well-known big band director. Wall C. Facing South. Row 1.
George Smith Patton Jr. was a U.S. Army general during World War I and World War II. Wall F. Facing West. Row 5.
John J. Pershing was a U.S. Army general. He also served as commander in chief and chief of staff for the U.S. Army from 1921 to 1924. Wall C. Facing West. Row 1.
Ronald Reagan was a captain in the U.S. Army Air Forces, second lieutenant in the U.S. Army, commander in chief from 1981 to 1989, and the 44th President of the U.S. Wall C. Facing East. Row 1.
Walter “Wally” Schirra was a captain in the U.S. Navy during World War II and Korea. He is also the only astronaut to serve in the first three American space programs. Wall E. Facing West. Row 5.
James Maitland “Jimmy” Stewart was an actor and a brigadier general in World War II and Vietnam War veteran. Wall F. Facing W. Row 4.
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States and served as commander in chief from 1945 to 1953 and as a colonel in the U.S. Army during World War I. Wall F. Facing West. Row 6.
Pete Wilson – Following his military career as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps, Wilson served as mayor of San Diego, U.S. senator and governor of California. Wall E. Facing West. Row 6.
What you need to know before you go:
- Cost: Free
- Park Hours: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily
- Address: 6905 La Jolla Scenic Dr. S., La Jolla, CA 92037
- Good For: All ages including veterans, history buffs and couples looking for a romantic view.
- Park rules: No smoking. No glass containers. No open fires. Dogs need to stay on leash.
- Tips: Bring a camera and a picnic to eat on the steps or a bench on the grassy area. Print out this article and the attached map (to the right) to help you find the famous veterans.
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Let us know about the famous veterans or family veterans that you visit at Mt. Soledad and where their plaques are located.