Finding a place steeped in solemnity and history in which to mark a day full of memory and honor can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, depending upon where you live.
Of course, places of remembrance and gratitude can be created anywhere, by any group of citizens who want to do so, but a destination that's tied to stories of the people being honored is a rarer thing.
Except in San Pedro, where the U.S.S. Iowa can be found. The World War II-era battleship is history taken ship form, and its decks and bridge and hull speak, at just a glance, of time spent in the Pacific circa the mid-1940s and its involvement in later campaigns.
The U.S.S. Iowa honors history -- and those who were part of it -- each Veterans Day by thanking those who served and activity duty military. In fact, the "Battleship of Presidents" goes beyond the day itself to create a full Veteran's Appreciation Weekend, which will be observed in 2014 on Saturday, Nov. 8 and Sunday, Nov. 9.
Ship admission will be waived for veterans and military personnel on those days.
As for on-the-decks doings? An opening ceremony begins the weekend at 9 a.m. on Nov. 8, and other happenings follow, from an inflatable obstacle course to a 5K to a display of vintage military cars. Food trucks and vendor booths are also part of the proceedings.
If you want to continue the observances on Veterans Day, which is Tuesday, Nov. 11, the battleship will be open. Other happenings around the state, including a ceremony on the Bay Area's U.S.S. Hornet and free day-use passes to California state parks for veterans, will also be hallmarks of this year's Veterans Day.