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35 WWII veterans heading up parade
Procession follows Memorial Day ceremonies
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Thirty-five World War II veterans are serving as grand marshals for Manteca’s first Memorial Day parade taking place Monday in downtown Manteca.

The parade - designed as a solemn tribute to the fallen - will start at 11 a.m. on May 31. The flag-lined route down Yosemite Avenue will go from Library Park to Manteca High.

Also marching are dozens upon dozens of veterans from various conflicts ranging from the Korean War to the Global War on Terror.

The parade start time was scheduled so as not to take away from the traditional ceremonies at East Union Cemetery that will be conducted on Monday at 10 a.m. by American Legion Post 249, and veterans of Foreign Wars Post 631. American-Legion Commander John Aguilar will be master of ceremonies. Speakers will be Manteca Police Chief Dave Bricker who is an Air Force veteran and Sgt. Bob Gutierrez, a wounded warrior from the Vietnam War.

Jessica Campos of California State University, Stanislaus will sing two patriotic songs.

Coffee, punch, and cookies will be served after the ceremony.

Among the parade entries are a float, vehicle and a number of marchers put together by Charles and Teri Palmer whose son Manteca High graduate Charles Palmer II lost his life serving America in Iraq. Another float, vehicle and marching entry is being put together by the residents of Del Webb at Woodbridge.

The Manteca Chamber of Commerce is organizing the parade that has roughly 54 entries. That may not sound like a lot but the organization’s Chief Executive Officer Debby Moorhead noted most of the entries have “multiple people.”

She noted a group of veterans who ride motorcycles plan to have at least 50 motorcycles.

There are various color guards, auto clubs, equestrian groups, and youth groups participating as well plus groups such as the Happy Wheelers.