El Cajon, CA
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Articles by B.J. Coleman

A beloved organization celebrates 100 years of service to the veteran community and Santee members were honored to help usher in the beginnings of a new century of work and commitment.

The American Legion kicked off the veteran’s service organization’s centennial year celebration on New Year’s Day, with Legion representatives honoring the occasion on the third float appearing in Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

The location was Safari Mobile Lodge Community, a mobile home park tucked away just off E. Main St. in downtown El Cajon. The date was Tuesday, Nov. 20. It was Thanksgiving week, right at midday. The occasion was for a collaboration among operators of the mobile home park and representatives of home care and hospice services, providing a traditional-fare Thanksgiving Luncheon for residents, with a special emphasis on honoring the military service of many veterans living at the park.

Tali Burton is a Marine. He departed active duty and has served as a reservist since 2011.

“I plan to keep doing this until it’s not fun anymore,” Burton said during a Veterans Day weekend interview. Burton is further a coffee shop entrepreneur, and how he came to this place in life is a touching story of friendship, remembrance and service.

This year marks the 100th observance of Veterans Day.

The commemoration was originally called Armistice Day, acknowledging the end of the First World War at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, thought then to be concluding the “war to end all wars.”

In 1954, here in the U.S. during the presidency of World War II commander Dwight Eisenhower, the day was officially renamed Veterans Day, to pay respect to the military service of all veterans of all wars.

For the East County Californian

Seventeen years after the fact, the memories return vividly for many with still-painful emotions of grief and loss.

“When I think of 9/11, I think of heroism, strength and bravery,” Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez said.

Vasquez appeared as featured guest speaker at Lemon Grove’s DeWitt C. Mitchell American Legion Post 201 during the veterans group’s first-ever ceremony commemorating the victims in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

For the East County Californian

Seventeen years after the fact, the memories return vividly for many with still-painful emotions of grief and loss.

“When I think of 9/11, I think of heroism, strength and bravery,” Lemon Grove Mayor Racquel Vasquez said.

Vasquez appeared as featured guest speaker at Lemon Grove’s DeWitt C. Mitchell American Legion Post 201 during the veterans group’s first-ever ceremony commemorating the victims in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Those who have attended formal gatherings and special events at the El Cajon Elks Lodge are likely to be familiar with Rita’s Catering. The in-house food service enterprise provides dining options ranging from full-course sit-down dinners to buffet grazing stations, including salad bars, taco bars and mashed potato martini tables. Rita’s Catering also serves weekday lunches for Elks and their lodge guests, and lodge dinners on Monday and Friday evenings.

One hundred thirty-five years ago, El Cajon was considered a valley east of San Diego, possibly a good location for wheat fields, and not much more.

Residents of the El Cajon Valley who wished to attend Sunday church services had to undertake a three-hour horse and buggy ride into San Diego.

They say you can’t buy love...but you can adopt it! At least, that is what Friends of Cats, Inc. believes, so much so that they have made it their official motto.

“Kitten season came late this year,” said Terry Hogan, treasurer of Friends of Cats, Inc. “And that’s a good thing.”

Even in the twenty-first century, the Old West can be glimpsed in a corner of El Cajon.

The Olaf Wieghorst Museum and Western Heritage Center is dedicated to preserving and extending appreciation of Western art and culture.

The museum and center celebrate the life and art of Wieghorst, a prominent local artist known during his lifetime and since as the “Dean of Western Painters.”

Artwork from other artists is featured among new rotating displays of Western paintings, sculptures and photographs.