Peter Limon, a Pearl Harbor survivor, displays a sign he envisions for a San Clemente motel he is resurrecting as the Patriots' Motel. He says he'll donate $5 per night's stay to the Wounded Warrior Fund. Photo: Fred Swegles, The Orange County Register.
Peter Limon was a 17-year-old sailor aboard the USS Swan when, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese airplanes appeared over Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, bent on destroying the U.S. Navy's fleet.
Limon was lucky. His ship, in drydock, was an aircraft tender, a far cry from the battleships the Japanese pilots were targeting.
In 1972, Limon built San Clemente Motor Lodge, a motel he recalls was used by some of the entourage that followed President Nixon during presidential visits to the "Western White House" in San Clemente. Limon later sold the motel, but he came out of retirement this year at 85 to acquire and revitalize a motel built in 1947. He is upgrading the Brisa Motel at 711 S. El Camino Real, planning to expand it and rename it the Patriots' Motel of San Clemente.
He says $5 of each night's room rate will go to the Wounded Warrior Fund to assist wounded military personnel returning from battle.
"When we get through with this, it'll be something good for San Clemente and for the Wounded Warriors," Limon said.