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USO show, Memorial Day program, fireworks today at Woodward

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POSTED May 24, 2009 2:33 a.m.
An aircraft flyover, a 21-gun Howitzer salute, and aerial fireworks are the flashy aspects of today’s Memorial Day Weekend ceremonies at Woodward Park.

But the poignant part will be the hundreds –if not thousands – of men and women from throughout Northern California who will remember comrades who gave their all and will reflect on the contributions they have made as well as millions of other citizen soldiers while serving America.

It starts with a USO Show at Woodward Park from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. It will feature free entertainment, a military vehicle display, free food and drinks for veterans, CHP K-9 exhibit, children’s fun center, exhibits and concessions, veteran services, Soldiers Angels collection center, aircraft fly over, special tribute to wounded warriors, a ceremony honoring veterans, marching bands, and the Moving Wall tribute to those who have died so far in the Global War on Terror.

The official program starting at 6 p.m. will feature Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. Sammy Davis who attended Manteca High for three years, Sgt. Bob Gutierrez of the famous Navajo Code Talkers who befuddled the Japanese, and Sgt. Earl Watson who is a Battle of the Bulge survivor. The Battle of the Bulge was the bloodiest battle of World War II.

Those Japanese Americans who served in the 442nd Brigade, for whom a segment of Highway 99 is named in honor of, will also be attending. They served America in the European theater during World War II despite having their families placed in internment camps.

Music will be provided by the Mi Wuk church choir and band as well as “We are Family.”

The program will end with a 21-gun salute from Howitzers

Then at 8:45 p.m. aerial fireworks will take place over Woodward Park to “celebrate the turn of our soldiers from Iran and Afghanistan.

Other activities on Monday
On Memorial Day on Monday, May 25, sunrise will come to Manteca with 2,400 flags lining the streets as part of the Flags Over Manteca effort.

Then at 10:30 a.m. the traditional Memorial Day service takes place at East Union Cemetery.

The day – and weekend – will end at 8 p.m. with the playing of taps and the retiring of the colors at the BLD complex.
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