We honor our veterans each year on the eleventh day of November, and at special ceremonies, and via parades, dinners, and numerous occasions that recall important events and those who have served.
There is a new way to pay mindful, heartfelt tribute, and it has been years in the making: the Heroes Hall, located at the OC Fair & Event Center in Costa Mesa.
The venue, a "...permanent, year-round museum with exhibitions, performances and educational programs..." was constructed to "...celebrate the legacy of Orange County veterans and those who have served our nation."
The Heroes Hall opened on Wednesday, Feb. 15 with an exhibit called "The Things They Carried," a display inspired by Tim O'Brien's book about American soldiers in Vietnam.
What to do, where to go and what to see
In addition to welcoming visitors to the new museum, the grand opening also commemorated the Santa Ana Army Air Base, which opened 75 years ago in the spot now occupied by the museum.
Joe DiMaggio, Gene Autry, and numerous people lived and served at the expansive base, and the Heroes Hall details many stories from the past on the second floor, including exhibits spotlighting the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and the Tuskegee Airmen.
Admission to the Heroes Hall, which was under planning and construction for four years, is free, as is parking. Be sure to make time to visit the Medal of Honor Courtyard and Walk of Honor on the hall's grounds, and the 36,000-pound cement star, a tribute to the Congressional Medal of Honor.