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Gold Star Family dinner on Saturday

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POSTED May 28, 2010 3:32 a.m.
You won’t have to remind Chuck and Teri Palmer, Mike and Angela Anderson, Kevin and Leianne Graves, or Sally Monsoor this Memorial Day Weekend about the high cost of freedom.

It’s been paid for with the lives of their sons.

They are among 90 family members who lost sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers in the Global War on terror who will attend the Gold Star Family Dinner being hosted by Prestige Senior Living at their complex on Empire Avenue off Louise Avenue in east Manteca on Saturday. Thirty-five dignitaries are also expected to attend along with Prestige Care Chief Executive officer Harold Delamarter.

The dinner will feature commemorative speeches by family members of veterans who have died in the line of duty. It will include a special tribute to Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor presented by his mother, Sally Monsoor.

Michael Monsoor sacrificed his own life to protect his fellow SEALs in Iraq and was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. The Navy intends to name a ship in his honor.

After the dinner, a Manteca Police escort will take the attendees to Woodward Park where the ninth panel dedicated to honoring the 5,800 who have died so far in the War on Terror will be dedicated. Admiral-Elect Margaret Rykowski of the Third Fleet will escort Sally Monsoor.

The ninth panel of the Traveling Tribute includes an image of her son.

The 5:30 p.m. dedication ceremony is open to the public.

Sunday
A full-day of activities are planned during the Memorial Day Weekend activities at Woodward Park. Organizers are advising people to bring blankets or lawn chairs as there will be no seating for the event.

•Wounded Warrior Chris Braley 5K walk/run. The entry free for the 8 a.m. race is $25. All participants will receive a free omelet breakfast after the race. Details on registration are available by going to www.thememorialweekend.org website and downloading the details.

•Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. with the $5 donation going to help cover the costs of the three-day event.

•An aerial fly-by that will include F16s that will pass over Woodward Park. Earlier in the day, three helicopters will land by 10 a.m. If you want to see the copters - including a Huey - land you should be at Woodward Park by no later than 9 a.m.

•Pastor Mike Dillman and the congregation of the Place of Refuge will join Word Alive Fellowship from Mi-Wuk conduct a public service. All veterans present will be presented with a “Not Forgotten” commemorative hat.

•A classic car and motorcycle show registration will start at 8 a.m.

•The concessions, kids’ energy zone, petting zoo, car show and exhibits will open at 11 a.m.

•The 50-state memorial with 5,800 crosses in honor of those who have given their lives in the Global War on Terror will open at 11 a.m.

•Community entertainment starts at 11 a.m.

•A full-scale USO Show from 3 to 5 p.m. featuring Denver & The Mile High Band that won the televised competition to become America’s next big band.

•The evening ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. with master of ceremony Phil Waterford featuring wounded warriors, vets of all generations, Congressman Jerry McNerney, a Navy jet flyover and a 21 gun salute using Army cannons.  

•Aerial fireworks to celebrate the safe return of all who have served will begin at 8:30 p.m.

•A replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier will be at Woodward Park.

•Numerous classic military vehicles will be on display.

•The Ripon Police bagpipe band will perform.

•An authentic military mess tent form World War II will be set up.

•Manteca Police will perform SWAT and K-9 demonstrations.

Monday
•A Memorial Day parade starts Monday at 11 a.m. on Yosemite Avenue from Library Park to Manteca High in downtown Manteca. The parade is being organized by the Manteca Chamber of Commerce. Call 823-6121 for details.

•The official Memorial Day remembrances ceremonies are at East Union Cemetery at 10 a.m. Monday under the auspices of the American Legion as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

•Taps on Memorial Day evening at 7 p.m. will officially close the event.
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