February 23, 2015

The Bob Hope Tribute in San Diego


Bob Hope. (1903-2003)
Comedian and star of film and television,
but probably most warmly remembered for the many times
he traveled overseas with the USO to entertain our American troops,
often during the Christmas holiday when servicemen were far from their loved ones.
Bob brought smiles, laughter, encouragement and appreciation
to thousands of men and women in the armed forces.

The city of San Diego, California is "thanking Bob for the memories"
with a spectacular and moving memorial called
A National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military.


Amid a group of beautiful coral trees along the shore of San Diego Bay,
is a life-size bronze statue of Bob at the microphone.
He's facing a group of 15 bronze likenesses,
designed to collectively symbolize those soldiers
who fought during the times of Bob's USO tours and who
represent the branches of the military as follows:

World War II: Paratrooper, Fighter Pilot, Marine Corps Sergeant, 
Navy Pilot Lieutenant, Army Nurse, Navy Machinist Mate

Korean War: Infantryman, Sailor, Marine

Vietnam War: Artilleryman, Air Force Mechanic, 
Coast Guard Squadron One, Navy Medic

Gulf War: Soldier in Desert Storm, Air Force Staff Sergeant


The sculptures were done by Eugene Daub and Steven Whyte. 
Speakers provide recordings of Bob telling his classic jokes and one-liners.

Notice the aircraft carrier in the background; it's the USS Midway Museum.


We dropped in next door for delicious fresh-caught seafood dinner
at The Fish Market, complete with an amazing view of the bay.



A 25 feet tall bronze statue, Unconditional Surrender
is also adjacent to the restaurant.
Its sculptor, Seward Johnson, based his work on
a V-J Day photo by Victor Jorgensen, shown below.



Leaving the restaurant just at sunset, we couldn't resist 
heading back over to the memorial for another look and more photos.


Bob Hope received many awards recognizing his humanitarian efforts.
In 1997, on behalf of all United States soldiers, Bob was made an honorary veteran.







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