By Karen Ferriere, Development Director, Save Mt. Diablo
This coming Monday, April 12, 2021, will mark the one-year anniversary and conclusion of Save Mount Diablo’s weekly Mount Diablo Beacon lightings in response to the pandemic.
On Sunday, April 11th, the Mount Diablo Summit Beacon will be lit by Save Mount Diablo personnel shortly after sunset. Then on Monday, April 12th, Save Mount Diablo personnel will rest the Beacon shortly after sunrise – and that will mark the one-year anniversary and conclusion of Save Mount Diablo’s weekly Beacon lighting efforts.
The decision to conclude these efforts is based on the COVID-19 vaccines becoming increasingly well distributed. Furthermore, there have been tier-level improvements in the San Francisco Bay Area. Although the pandemic is not over, we have turned the corner for the better.
In response to the pandemic, for the past year, since April 12, 2020, Save Mount Diablo volunteers and staff have lit the Mount Diablo Beacon, the “Eye of Diablo,” from sunset on Sunday night until sunrise on Monday morning when the Beacon is rested.
Describing why Save Mount Diablo has been lighting the Mount Diablo Beacon in response to the pandemic, Ted Clement, Save Mount Diablo’s Executive Director, stated, “We light the Mount Diablo Beacon to thank our heroes, to honor those who have passed and are suffering, to bring our communities together, and to remind people to look up to the light and the healing power of nature.”
“I want to thank two special Save Mount Diablo volunteers, John Gallagher and Dick Heron, who helped me with this year-long effort,” said Ted Clement.
Though Save Mount Diablo is concluding its weekly Beacon lightings in response to the pandemic, the organization will continue its regular care and maintenance of the historic “Eye of Diablo,” as it has done for years.
The Beacon was originally lit by Charles Lindbergh in 1928 to assist in the early days of commercial aviation. The Beacon shone from the summit of Mount Diablo each night until December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
It was not relit until December 7, 1964, when Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander in Chief of Pacific Forces during World War II, attended a ceremony on Mount Diablo’s summit in commemoration of the survivors of Pearl Harbor. He suggested that the Beacon be lit every December 7th to honor those who served and sacrificed.
Save Mount Diablo, California State Parks, the Sons and Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors Chapter 5, California State University–East Bay (Concord Campus), and others organize the annual lighting ceremony of the Beacon every December 7th in honor of the National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.
About Save Mount Diablo
SMD is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, and watersheds through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide recreational opportunities consistent with the protection of natural resources. Learn more at www.savemountdiablo.org.