INSPIRATION POINT, BALBOA PARK
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
Throughout the past century thousands of military personnel have come to San
Diego, lived here - trained here - and departed from here to do their duty all over the world.
For the thousands who shipped out from here and the thousands who lost their lives, one of the
last views of the "good old USA" was the rise of "Inspiration Point" in the backdrop
of San Diego.
The San Diego community, which includes over 340,000 veterans and active
duty personnel, is proud of its city and its history. It is a conscientious community that
continually seeks to improve its urban amenities, civic institutions, services and the quality
of life, particularly in education and cultural areas. During the World War I era San Diego
became renowned as a great "Navy Town." San Diego's reputation and position remains
a dominant feature with the Navy and Marine Corps with countess numbers of men and women who
served their country and passed through these portals for parts all over the world. With the
large presence of both the Navy and Marine Corps in San Diego, Moreover, United States and
allied Veterans from all services, eras, wars and conflicts agree that the region's military
heritage makes it a uniquely attractive place, whether to visit or live there.
The Veterans Memorial Garden concept was originally published in the July
1999 issue of the Veterans Journal. It was impressive and was enthusiastically received by
veterans throughout San Diego. On November 17, 1999, a Veterans' Memorial Park committee was
established to prepare a conceptual proposal for a Veterans Memorial Garden to honor all men
and women who served in the U. S. Armed Forces, Coast Guard and Wartime Merchant Marine. In
2002, Mayor Dick Murphy and Councilwoman Toni Atkins were able to get a substantial grant from
the State of California's Bond Issue supporting Parks and Wetlands for Balboa Park. From this
grant a portion was set aside to fund the Veteran's Memorial Garden Project located at Inspiration
Point in Balboa Park. The Plan received final approval from the San Diego City Council in the
beginning of 2005 with the ground breaking and construction beginning in March of that year. The
first phase was completed and dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2005. The Veterans
Memorial Garden is real "plus" for all of San Diego thanks to the support and commitment
offered by a broad base of veterans, citizens, supportive businesses, professional entities, and
City and State Officials.
The Veterans Memorial Garden is situated on a one-acre parcel directly in front
of the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center with three individual gardens honoring veterans
Air, Land and Sea united by pathways leading to the Veterans Circle, a central
gathering place reflecting the principles of DUTY HONOR COUNTRY with quotes
from Presidents Washington, Lincoln and Coolidge. Phase I includes the terrazzo Veterans Circle
and Amphitheater, the Air Garden and the initial portions of the Land and Sea Gardens. The Air
Garden contains a reflecting pool with a bronze statue of a B24 Liberator facing in the direction
of the former Consolidated Aircraft Corporation Plant (Convair) that designed and built the B-24.
The Air Garden pays tribute to both the crewmembers ground and flightand the citizens
of San Diego who designed and built this historic aircraft.all important to Allied WWII air
power. It is the first memorial in a city park highlighting the B-24 Liberator. During WWII
almost 40% of all B-24s were built in San Diego. Consolidated employed slightly more than 45,000
San Diego men and women in 1942more than 15% of the total population at that time. The
Garden is a testament to the ongoing relationship between the citizens of San Diego and the
Veterans' community. B-24 Sculptor: Robert Henderson; Architect: Austin Veum Robbins Partners;
Landscape by David Reed Landscape Architect; and Construction by Ghassan Construction Company.
Phases II and III will expand the Sea and Land Gardens and will each contain a
monument or central feature that honors the relationship between San Diego and the respective Land
and Sea veterans. The Sea garden is projected to extend along the east side of the Museum and the
land garden to extend out to Park Blvd. along Inspiration Point Way.