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Photographer's Note

Just adjacent to the 25-foot-tall sculpture of the "kissing sailor," technically entitled "Unconditional Surrender," is this lovely and poignant sculptural group, dedicated to Bob Hope. It's on an elevated plaza, surrounded by coral trees with a sign at the entrance stating "A National Salute to Bob Hope and the Military."

Bob Hope was one of the most notable comedians in American history, and during America's various conflicts of the 20th century, starting with WWII, performed hundreds of USO events, from 1941, clear through to the Gulf War in the 1990s, I believe. He died in 2003 at the age of 100. In 1997, then-President Clinton bestowed upon him the rank of Honorary Veteran, due to his time spent near the front with combat units, performing and entertaining the troops for decades to boost morale.

This lovely tribute, appropriately located just in front of the USS Midway, consists of 15 life-sized bronze statues arranged such that they appear to be attending a performance. Each represents a serviceperson from a different conflict. Visitors can stroll among the bronze audience, some of whom are portrayed with various wounds. This installation cost a reported $1.5 million, commissioned from artists Eugene Daub and Steven Whyte by the port of San Diego, the Hope family and Navy vets of the Battle of Leyte Gulf (WWII). It was formally dedicated on July 8, 2009, with two of Bob's children in attendance.

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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1119] (1996)
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