Patriotism, Honor and Service Celebrated at the Veterans Museum at Balboa Park
Published by Cathy Hendrie –
PassPort to San Diego
Learn about honor, courage, sacrifice and commitment by veterans to our nation in this important living history museum in Balboa Park. Housed in a former Navy Chapel, the hilltop venue honors the U.S. Armed Forces and Wartime Merchant Marine through impressive exhibits, memorabilia, artwork and documents.
See real U.S. Army Calvary boots from World War I. Marvel at a mural signed by local World War I and World War II vets. Explore at a life-size recreation of a bunker in the Korean War. Spend time in a room devoted to the Vietnam War complete with a timeline along three walls; and another room dedicated to women in the military.
Out in front of the museum, read about Brigadier Gen. Robert Cardenas (from San Diego) adjacent to the replica B-24 bomber representing all air and ground crews who made wartime and peacetime missions possible. Also spend time at the Purple Heart memorial, engraved with the Guy de Maupassant quote “you have never lived until you have almost died. For those who have fought for it life has a flavor that the protected will never know.” Steps away, enjoy the “Rosie the Riveter” Rose Garden honoring the woman’s working force of World War II.
Also inspiring are the museum’s annual events, including a Spirit of ’45 Day, a tribute to the can-do spirit of the entire generations of Americans who resumed peacetime lives after enduring the trials and hardships of World War II upon the surrender of Japan to the U.S. and its Allies August 15, 1945. The National Day is annually observed the second Sunday of August and will be held Aug. 11, 2019, at the museum.
Other events include the San Diego County’s Veteran of the Year program in November, which salutes vets’ service to the community; and the solemn but important reading of the names of San Diegans killed in the Vietnam War or listed as missing in action each Memorial Day weekend.
Much more than stories and pictures, the venue is central to the active-duty community, which holds military promotions, retirements and memorials. It is also used for fundraisers, banquets, seminars and weddings. In recent years, the museum has been hosting art shows, concerts and theatrical events.
The museum’s newest exhibit is “Veterans Who Became Presidents,” featuring leaders whose U.S. military service was of significant or unique character, and how it influenced them during their term in office. The exhibit is on display Feb. 19 – May 18, 2019.
The museum is at at 2115 Park Blvd., and is open from 10 a.m-4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for veterans and seniors, $2 for students with active I.D. and FREE for children 12 and under and active military families.