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United States Marine Corps

Veterans remembered with tribute to the flag

By Lance Cpl. Rebecca A. Lamont | | October 31, 2009

The Military Order of the World Wars San Diego Chapter celebrated their 54th anniversary during the Massing of the Colors and Service of Remembrance ceremony at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park, San Diego, Oct. 31.

The ceremony was a patriotic tribute to the American flag and a remembrance of those who currently serve in the armed forces and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

More than 50 color guard units representing the military, high schools, colleges, police and fire departments and scouting fraternal and patriotic organizations, participated in the event. Marine Band San Diego helped celebrate while playing patriotic songs during the ceremony.

The color guard carried the national ensign and other flags in their position in the chain of command. These included a unit flag and a flag representing each branch of service. In addition to the flag bearers, who were positioned in the center of the color guard, there were two individuals at each end carrying rifles.

“I think this had a positive impact on particularly the younger color guard participants, because they get to see all the branches of service and see what they contribute to the U.S.,” said Sgt. Jose L. Cruz, platoon sergeant, ceremonial platoon, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. “They also get the opportunity to contribute to a cause many have sacrificed their lives for.”

The overall community gained insight on what it truly is to be an American, he said.

“This remembrance gives the community an opportunity to see what we see and better explain why we do the things we do,” said Cruz.

After thanking the veterans for their service and dedication, Brig. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Western Recruiting Region, took time during his speech to address America’s youth, telling the story, “The Tale of the Snake,” by Iron Eyes Cody.

“Cody warned America that you knew it was a snake before you picked it up,” said Bailey, using a venomous snake as a metaphor for taking illegal drugs, abusing alcohol and drunk driving. He reminded the audience of the damage caused by these hazardous substances and choices.

Bailey also emphasized the importance of always doing right and being our best.

“We are all bound by the one flag of glory,” said Bailey.

The MOWW is a patriotic, non-profit, nonpartisan, veteran’s organization. MOWW was established in 1919 to promote the welfare of our nation and is comprised of 145 chapters across the U.S. It provides the opportunity for officers of all uniformed services to unite and promote national security, patriotism, good citizenship and service to country. For more information visit www.militaryorder.net or www.sandiego-moww.org