The City of
Oceanside invites active duty military and their famlies to Operation Appreciation, a fun filled Armed Forces Day celebration. All Active Duty Military and their dependents must bring an Active Duty Military ID Card to get unlimited activities and a free lunch.
Oceanside keeps Armed Forces Day tradition marching on
by Jeff Jardine
In 1947, as life in the United States settled into the new normal following World War II, President Truman formally established the Department of Defense to oversee all branches of the military.
At that time, each branch held its own appreciation day. Instead, in 1949 Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson unified these events into Armed Forces Day, to be celebrated on the third Saturday each May. The first such day celebration came on May 20, 1950. Cities throughout the nation participated – and still do – with parades and other celebrations.
This year, it will be celebrated May 18. Count the Oceanside among those still going strong with their events.
Oceanside hosts its 18th “Operation Appreciation” celebration.
Oceanside’s nearest and dearest neighbor is Camp Pendleton. Kristi Hawthorne, Oceanside Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Events and Military Outreach, said the city began its celebration as a way to thank the U.S. Marines and Navy personnel who were among the first deployed to the Middle East following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“They were sent off to Afghanistan and Iraq in a big way,” she said. “We take great pride in our 76-year relationship with Camp Pendleton.”
So the city and chamber created “Operation Appreciation,” and for the first 15 or so years staged the event on the beach. Construction projects forced them to move to downtown, where they’ve transformed it into a street fair-type event the past few years.
“The only thing we don’t have is the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop,” she said.
And how do they show their appreciation? All military personnel and their families pay nothing. More than 40 sponsors provide food and entertainment, including bounce houses for the military children. Bands provide music throughout the day, and children from the North Terrace Elementary School – students from military families – traditionally sing patriotic songs.
The details: Armed Forces Day Operation Appreciation
Operation Appreciation has a NEW LOCATION. This event will span over 3 blocks in downtown Oceanside and will begin near the corner of Pier View Way and Coast Highway. Free parking is available in the Civic Center Parking Structure as well as the Transit Center parking structure.
On Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 18, the Oceanside Chamber of Commerce will bring the business community and area residents together to provide a day of recognition to all active-duty military stationed on Marine Corps Base Camp Joseph H. Pendleton and nearby military bases.
Thousands of active duty military, their family and dependents are treated to a day of free food, entertainment and a fun zone for kids
The fun begins at 11am and lasts until 4pm. The day consists of activities including a children's fun zone with inflatable jumps, rock climbing wall, kid's crafts and face painting.
Participating Restaurants include Buffalo Wild Wings, Pick Up Stix, San Luis Rey Bakery and Domino's Pizza. Beverages provided by Frazier Farms.
All Active Duty Military and their dependents must bring an Active Duty Military ID Card to get unlimited activities and a free lunch.
This event is open to the public, and food and fun zone tickets available for purchase. Entertainment can be enjoyed by all who attend.
Free shuttles provided by the Riverside County Sheriff Department.
Whether you are a civilian who wants to show your gratitude and enjoy a day of fun, or a member of the military family, this is a day for you to show your appreciation or to be appreciated!
Military News | Navy News | Oceanside Operation Appreciation celebrates Armed Forces Day 2019