El Cajon salutes veterans and bids a centennial farewell

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World War II planes from Air Group One Commemorative Air Force in Missing Man Formation flew over the crowd as a motorcade led by the El Cajon Motorcycle Club roared into the square. Followed by a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,”  this was just the beginning of El Cajon’s A Centennial Farewell Honoring Our Veterans celebration at Centennial Park on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

World War II planes from Air Group One Commemorative Air Force in Missing Man Formation flew over the crowd as a motorcade led by the El Cajon Motorcycle Club roared into the square. Followed by a rousing rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,”  this was just the beginning of El Cajon’s A Centennial Farewell Honoring Our Veterans celebration at Centennial Park on Tuesday, Nov. 12.

It was a day of celebration of the ending of El Cajon’s centennial year and reflection of the present and past veterans that served the nation. The city also credited the many volunteers that had dedicated more than 100 hours of volunteer service for the city in recognition of its centennial.

Monica Zech, public information officer for the city of El Cajon said it was a day to recognize all that have served in both the U.S. military and volunteers of the city.

Assemblymember Brian Jones said first and foremost he wanted to thank all of the veterans present and thanked them for their service.

“My father is a Vietnam veteran, my grandfather World War II veteran and POW, serving 18 months in a prisoner’s camp in Japan, so for all the veterans that have served our country, I thank you very much,” he said.

Jones said the day wrapped up a one-year celebration of the 100th anniversary of the city of El Cajon and it has a rich history of being the “valley of opportunity.” He said the best part of El Cajon’s history is its people, who began and continue to be innovative and the hardest working people in San Diego County. The city of El Cajon began with around 200 people and now the community is well more than 100,000, he said.

“We are looking forward to another 100 years of great things from the city of El Cajon,” he said.

Zech said for the centennial, the city’s program 100 Hours for 100 Years included many groups and individuals that participated. Each received certificates provided by Congresswoman Susan Davis, Congressman Duncan Hunter, Senator Joel Anderson, Assemblymember Brian Jones and the City of El Cajon. Zech said in total, more than 200,000 people have joined in the year’s festivities celebrating the city’s 100th year.

“Starting with the historical speaker series, the Centennial Celebration on Nov. 12, 2012, the Recreation Department’s dance recital, National Night Out, Fourth of July picnic and fireworks, Hauntfest and more,” she said. “These celebrations have celebrated the rich diversity of our community and how truly we are the Valley of Opportunity.”

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