I want to take a moment on Veterans Day to thank all the men and women who have served in our country’s military. While we should always remember our veterans, today is a special day to recognize sacrifices made by so many to protect our freedoms and rights.
I took the above photo on November 11, 2003 at the Veteran’s Memorial in Palisades Park in Santa Monica, California near where Wilshire Boulevard hits Ocean Avenue. The Santa Monica Veterans Memorial is a very unique memorial consisting of 5 granite columns representing each branch of the military. At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (which is when the Armistice for WWI was signed), the shadows from the columns line up exactly with the bricked-in shadows. The man in the picture is standing on one of the bricked-in shadows and it is amazing to watch the shadows align with the brickwork.
Our family was visiting the memorial that year and just before 11am, this gentleman solemnly walked up to each of the 5 columns. He placed a rose at the foot of the column, took 2 steps backward and snapped off a salute which he held for 10 seconds or more. He then repeated this procedure at each of the columns. It was a very moving tribute by just one individual, and one of my fondest Veterans Day memories.