Planning for RB Spirit of the Fourth 2014 is in HIGH GEAR. This web site will be incrementally updated as details of this year's event unfold. Watch This Space !
The Theme for 2014 is "Hometown Heroes", honoring members of our community who served our country as a member of the Armed Forces and then returned to this wonderful place we call home. Selection of one such Hometown Hero to be the Spirit of the Fourth Parade Grand Marshall is now underway.
2013 Parade Grand Marshall - Legion of Valor Commander and Legion of Valor Member Representative of all Armed Services
Our theme for the 2013 celebration was "Distinguished By Service - Honoring the Legion of Valor". We are pleased to announce that the Commander of the local chapter of the Legion of Valor, Neil Black, will be the 2013 Spirit Of The Fourth Parade Grand Marshall. The Legion of Valor is composed of men and women of the United States Armed Forces who have been awarded the Medal of Honor or any of three second highest award for extraordinary heroism; The Distinguished Service Cross (Army), The Navy Cross (Navy or Marine Corps), or the Air Force Cross. For more information about the Legion of valor, visit their web site, www.legionofvalor.com. To see the names and citations of our local Legion of Valor members, includingclick here.
Following is the biography of our 2013 Grand Marshall:
Major Neil Black, USAF (RET), Air Force Cross, Legion of Valor
A native of Pennsylvania, Neil enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1963.
Following recruit training, he attended survival, medical, parachute and SCUBA
schools, received the Pararescueman Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC) and was
assigned to a Pararescue team for two years with the 79th Air Rescue Squadron at
Anderson AFB, Guam.
In 1965, Neil volunteered for duty in Southeast Asia where he flew on
rescue helicopters into North Vietnam. On September 20, 1965, while attempting
to rescue a downed fighter pilot, Neil and his crew were shot down and captured
by the North Vietnamese. After 7 1⁄2 years of captivity he returned home in
February 1973 and received a direct commission from then President Nixon.
Neil graduated from pilot training and was assigned to the 41st Air Rescue
Squadron, where he flew the HC-130. Later, he was assigned to the 455th Flight
Training Squadron, where he was a flight commander and instructed in the T-37.
In 1984 Neil volunteered for duty in East Germany as operations officer for the
U.S. Military Liaison Mission to the Soviet Forces, where he organized and
participated in military intelligence operations in the Soviet zone of occupation.
Neil retired as a major in 1987 with 24 years of active duty. He moved to
Allentown, PA where he joined his family’s building supply business as a vice-
president. For the next 15 years Neil continued to serve his community as a Rotary
Club president and as an adjunct professor at Muhlenburg College where he
developed and taught a course in American Foreign Policy. During the 2000
presidential primary, Neil was selected as PA state co-chairman for John
Neil and his wife, Vicki, currently reside in Carlsbad, CA where he is
active as a volunteer in a number of community and veterans organizations. He is
a member of the Rotary Club of Carlsbad and served as the Rotary district
assistant governor. Neil currently serves as Co-Commander of the SoCal
Department, California Chapter of the Legion of Valor, and is a member of the
United Veterans Council, NamPOWs, and the Order of Daedalians. He regularly
speaks to local service organizations and schools, including JROTC AFROTC and
NROTC, where he participates on the annual Combat Leadership Panel. Neil is
currently serving as a planning commissioner in Carlsbad and sits on the board of
directors for the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation.
Among Neil’s military awards are the Air Force Cross, Defense Superior
Service Medal, Bronze Star w/oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit and
Air Medal. He holds a BA in Government with a minor in Russian from CSU
Sacramento and an MA in National Security Affairs from the U.S. Naval
Postgraduate School. Neil and Vicki have two children, Todd and Tracy.
Abraham J. Baum, Member, Legion of Valor
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of a great friend of the Spirit of the Fourth, Major Abraham J. Baum, DSC, AUS (former) on the 3rd of March, 2013. He will remain a member of the Legion of Valor in perpetuity, and will also remain in our hearts and the hearts of the community he loved and served faithfully for many years.
Following is the Citation associated with his Distinguished Service Cross Award:
"For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an armed enemy in Germany. On 26 March 1945 Captain Baum led an armored task force in daring action into enemy territory to liberate allied prisoners held by the Germans near Hammelburg, Germany. In route as the column entered the town of Germunden, Captain Baum was wounded by enemy rocket fire. Despite his wounds, he continued to lead the force throughout the day and the following night until he was again wounded during action on the outskirts of Hammelburg. Captain Baum’s courageous devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service."
The entertainment for the Spirit of the Fourth Spectacular Fireworks show has been set. Click here for the story. See a YouTube video of the 2012 Spirit of the Fourth Parade and Fireworks Show below.
We Need Your Help
In order for our celebration to be a success, we need to raise over $50,000. Your donation enables us to continue providing special events which include the parade and our spectacular fireworks display!
If you had fun last year and/or are planning to enjoy the celebration this year, please consider contributing. Our sponsors provide some of the funding, but we rely on members of the community to meet the budget. Thank You!
Rancho Bernardo Recreation Council San Diego County Board of Supervisors - Dave Roberts, District 3