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MARKING THE SACRIFICE

7,000 crosses along I-5 reflect price of freedom

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MARKING THE SACRIFICE

Volunteer Shane Swan helps fine tune the 7,000 crosses placed along Interstate 5.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/


POSTED May 19, 2017 1:07 a.m.

Thursday  at about 7:30 a.m., Sal Reyes had students of his Weston Ranch High Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp ready to do their part for The Not Forgotten.
That’s the non-profit led by Pastor Mike Dillman that, for the more than 15 years, has staged the annual Manteca Memorial Weekend Commemoration at Woodward Park.
He recently announced that the Memorial Day event is on hiatus for this year.
Dillman had the support of some 38 JROTC students along with volunteers from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and members of the community at Dell’Osso Farms.
Together, the estimated 150 placed 7,000 crosses, with each representing the fallen American soldiers in the Global War on Terror since Sept. 11, 2001.
“They really wanted to be part of this program,” said Reyes of his WRHS cadets.
Dillman recognized Susan and Ron Dell’Osso for clearing the way on the south end of their Dell’Osso Farms just for the crosses.
It took over three hours to get the work done. The highlight of the morning was the fly-by by Bravo Company 1-126 Aviation out of Stockton led by Joe Prose.
He’s a Class of 2009 graduate of Manteca High.
The display also included all 50 state flags and large portrait posters of the 70 soldiers from the region who were among the casualties in the Global War on Terror.
Included were Army CWO David Angelo Alvarez of Lathrop, Army 1st Lt. Michael Vega of Lathrop, Army Staff Sgt. Jared Hagemann of Ripon, and Marine Cpl. Charles Palmer of Manteca.
Dillman noted that the memorial serving as a somber reminder of the high cost of freedom will now be up for the next 30 days.
“It’s located off the (southbound Interstate 5) of the freeway for all to see,” he said.

To contact reporter Vince Rembulat, e-mail vrembulat@mantecabulletin.com.

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