"We must remember these American Heroes. We can never forget those who sacrificed everything for our freedom." This quote, from Dr. Mary Hawkins, President of Bellevue University, is the reason behind the University's sponsorship of traveling exhibits across the nation including California's that will be coming to Chula Vista in May. A very emotional display, "Remembering Our Fallen," is a stark reminder of the ultimate sacrifice made by 710 fallen soldiers from California who were killed in the War on Terror since the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001. Seventy-seven of those were from San Diego County including 15 women, and several were from Chula Vista and the surrounding South Bay communities.
The 125-foot long exhibit, featuring military and personal photos of the fallen on both sides, will be on public display in the Veteran's Wing of the Chula Vista Civic Library from Sunday, May 3, through Thursday, May 14. The library is located at 365 F Street, and operating hours are Monday-Thursday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Marine Corps League Detachment 1207 will constantly be on guard during the exhibit.
A separate area of tribute will be set up to honor the fallen heroes from the South Bay area including Cpl. Salem Bachar, Sgt. Michael Idanan, Ssg. Kristofferson Lorenzo, Sgt. Michael "Mike" Martinez, Ssg. Joshua Mattero, Spc. Curtis Spivey, Sgt. Charles Wycoff Jr., Cpl. Erik Silva, and Spc. Matthew Holley.
The public is invited to the opening ceremony which will be held on Monday, May 4, at 1 p.m. in the Library. Special presentations include Chula Vista Elks Club #2011 presenting the Elks Medal of Valor to the families of fallen soldiers from San Diego.
In addition to Marine Detachment 1207 and the Chula Vista Elks, the "Remembering our Fallen" exhibit is made possible locally by American Legion Post 434, VFW Post 2111, and the Ladies of the Auxiliary, Military Order of the Purple Heart Unit 49. For more information on the exhibit, CLICK HERE.