La Jolla Light: Many elected officials to attend Mt. Soledad Memorial event Monday to honor fallen Marine hero

May 21, 2014

Trustees of the Mt. Soledad Memorial Association will host a special plaque presentation 2 to 3 p.m. Monday, May 26 at the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial, 6905 La Jolla Scenic Drive at Via Capri, honoring Sgt. Rafael Peralta, USMC (April 7, 1979-Nov. 15, 2004).

Peralta was awarded the Navy Cross for making the ultimate sacrifice saving the lives of fellow Marines. Peralta, a native of Mexico, was a 1997 graduate of Morse High School in San Diego. He obtained a green card in 2000 and became a U.S. Citizen through his Marine Corps service.

Sgt. Rafael Peralta (1979-2004)

Speaking on behalf of Peralta’s honor will be two members of his team whose lives were saved when Peralta fell upon and absorbed the blast of a grenade: Robert Reynolds (who works in law enforcement in the state of Washington) and Nick Jones (a member of the Riverside County Sheriffs Department).

This event will mark the first time at the Memorial that all San Diego County Congressional representatives will be in attendance: Congressman Darrell Issa (49th District); Congresswoman Susan Davis (53rd District) Congressman Duncan Hunter (50th District), Congressman Scott Peters (52nd District) and Congressman Juan Vargas (51st District).

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Congressman Hunter will make brief speeches. Two proclamations will be presented, one from the City of San Diego by City Council Representative SherrI Lightner (District 1) and one from the County of San Diego by Supervisor Dave Roberts (District 3).

The keynote speaker will be Brigadier General James W. Bierman, Jr., Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Western Recruiting Region.

Chris Merrill of KOGO Radio will serve as master of ceremonies. Performances will be given by MCRD Marine Band Brass Quintet and the La Jolla Country Day Madrigal Singers. The San Diego T-34 Performance Team will provide a fly-over in the Missing Man formation. The event is free.

Note: Early arrivals recommended; Old Town Trolley will provide complimentary shuttle service to and from the Memorial from nearby Mt. Soledad Presbyterian Church and the French American School parking lots, both located on Soledad Mountain Road. (858) 459-2314.

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