The 57th-annual Salute to Navy Luncheon, hosted by the National City Chamber of Commerce and the city of National City, honored more than 150 Sailors yesterday. Civilians, Navy commanders, Sailors and elected officials gathered together to show their support to the U.S. military, their families and acknowledge Sailors from various ranks.
Mayor Ron Morrison addressed the crowd of more than 300 uniformed Sailors and civilians about the importance of the long-standing event to the community.
“This event is to celebrate the relationship between the Navy and National City,” stated Mayor Morrison. “We are so proud to have the Navy as part of our community, and we look forward to nurturing this exciting relationship with the greatest peace-keeping force in the world.”
More than 50 uniformed cheerleaders from Sweetwater High School were on hand, volunteering to serve the attendees during the luncheon. Mariachi Garibaldi from Southwestern College played “Happy Birthday” in Spanish to honor the 238th birthday of the Navy, which is celebrated on Oct. 13. Naval Base San Diego hosted the traditional ‘Presentation of Colors’ to kick off the ceremony at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center.
This year’s luncheon featured keynote speaker Mary Lindenstein Walshok, the associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of extension at University of California, San Diego. Walshok is an author, educator, researcher, thought leader and subject matter expert on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth.
Walshok spoke on the importance of the Navy to the region and National City, in particular.
“There is a love affair that has been going on with the Navy and San Diego for more than 125 years,” said Walshok. “The Navy is always changing and evolving and they are a major part of why this city is successful as it is today.”
A tradition since 1957, today’s event is the oldest tribute to the Navy in the nation. With strong ties to Naval Base San Diego on its waterfront, National City hosts this event every year during the month of October and jointly celebrates the Navy’s birthday.
The event was sponsored by ABB Management, the city of National City, Coronado Distribution Co, County of San Diego, Freedom Furniture and Electronics, ITT Technical Institute, Navy Federal Credit Union, Moynahan Towing, the National City Chamber of Commerce, National School District, National City Kiwanis, National City Mile of Cars, Omni Financial, Pasha Automotive Services, Pier 32 Marina, Peter Piper Pizza, San Diego Cold Storage, San Diego Gas and Electric, Southwestern College, Sweetwater High School, Union Bank, United States University, and Zappy’s Pizza.
For more information about National City and the National City Chamber of Commerce, visit www.nationalcitychamber.org.