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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

San Diegans honor fallen heroes on Memorial Day

Memorial Day may only be on the calendar once a year, but here in our county - with such a large military presence - every day is Memorial Day for many.

SAN DIEGO — Thousands of San Diegans celebrated this Memorial Day by honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our country. Many visited the gravesites of loved ones for quiet gatherings, but others attended or viewed bigger events.

For the 121st consecutive year, Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery held a memorial service to honor those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom.

“We gather to reflect and to honor those who lost their lives in combat - the ultimate sacrifice for our grateful nation,” said Bryan Caraveo, USN (Ret.).

Due to the pandemic, the facility decided to make this a virtual event, which can still be viewed online. But even virtually, they still worked in important traditions, including a wreath ceremony to honor unknown soldiers laid to rest.

The USS Midway Museum also held a wreath ceremony on Monday. It was a touching tribute that brought back painful memories.

“I think about them a lot,” said one Navy veteran with tears in his eyes.

Atop Mount Soledad Monday afternoon, one of the county's largest in-person public Memorial Day events. 

“San Diego is a proud military town - am I right?,” said Mayor Todd Gloria to a round of cheers. 

Hundreds of county residents, many representing different branches of the military and wearing patriotic outfits, showed up to honor service members who died fighting for our country. 

The event was held at the Mt. Soledad National Veterans Memorial - home to more than 5,000 plaques honoring veterans from the Revolutionary War to present day and every single one is appreciated. 

“Let us always remember those who are no longer with us because that's what we do as San Diegans - a proud military town that knows that freedom is not free,” Mayor Gloria said.

Memorial Day may only be on the calendar once a year, but here in our county - with such a large military presence - every day is Memorial Day for many… and events like these show our hearts are with them.

WATCH RELATED: Memorial Day events across San Diego