There are hundreds of veterans buried at the pioneer East Union Cemetery in Manteca. The markers on many of the gravestones, through the years, have deteriorated and have become weather-worn.
On Saturday, March 28, a group of volunteers headed by Joe Brocchini and Jenese Little Borges-Soto, will be at the historic cemetery cleaning and sprucing up these markers. But they will need some help to get the job done in one day. So far, there are 20 volunteers who have pledged to be there and lend a hand, Brocchini said.
He is inviting volunteers who are willing to give about two hours or so of their time on that day to sign up by calling 209.247.2034 or by going to his Facebook page, History of Manteca, and sign up there. Depending on how many willing hands will be there to help, the job will probably take two hours, maybe even three or four, Brocchini surmised. They will be there starting at 9 a.m.
The History of Manteca Facebook page is working on this volunteer project in conjunction with Gone But Never Forgotten veterans project in which Borges-Soto is involved.
“She is my friend and founder of the page on Facebook. It was her idea and I am helping her. Her son was killed in Iraq, and this is her way to remember all veterans. I want to do this for her. She will be there also on March 28 at 9 a.m.,” Brocchini said.
The historic cemetery, which is also the resting place of many of the area’s early pioneers and major movers and shakers, is located on the southwest corner of the Union Road and Louise Avenue intersection.
Over the years, the markers have faded out, and “we just want to spruce them up a little bit by repainting them and making them look good,” said Brocchini.
This volunteer-work day is “an event to honor all veterans. Our mission is to restore veterans’ bronze markers that time and weather had made them look tarnished over the years,” he stated in his announcement on his Facebook page, History of Manteca.
“Any time of yours will be considered valuable. There are a great number of veteran markers that need restores, and because we all have busy lives and little time on our hands, we do not foresee all of them will get done in one outing,” he added.
He said he was informed by the cemetery groundskeeper that there “about 250 veterans graves, possibly even more” at East Union Cemetery.
“Whatever help we get is appreciated. Supplies to do the job will be at hand. All we need is a few honored folks to make this mission a success. If you would like to join in on remembering our veterans who have sacrificed for (their) country, please leave your comment,” he stated on his Facebook page.