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Manteca honors fallen at EU Cemetery
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The ceremonial playing of Taps at the East Union Cemetery Memorial Day event went on as planned after the American Legion’s bugle was stolen in a car burglary at 5:15 a.m. Monday

East Union High School bugler Harmeet Singh brought one from his school and performed the ritual without a hitch at the end of the ceremonies staged by American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts at North Union Road and Louise Avenue cemetery at 10 a.m.

Carol and George Sommerfeld had the bugle in their 2017 Mercedes that was parked in a pizza parlor parking lot. They said thieves broke out a window of their vehicle and took the electronic trumpet, valued at over $500.

Of interest to many at the traditional Memorial Day services was the presence of a news photographer from the Washington Post, Michael Robinson-Chavez, who had come to Manteca on assignment after his editors had seen stories and pictures in the Manteca Bulletin on how very supportive the Manteca community had been toward its veterans.

More than 100 small American Flags dotted the cemetery grounds marking the graves of Manteca residents who had served in the various armed forces in support of their country.

American Legion Commander of the McFall Grisham Post #249 Bob Gonzales introduced the Jimmie Conners VFW Post Commander #6311 Commander Gary Colby to those seated under tents with some standing in the morning sun. 

The National Anthem was sung by Amanda Rosas and guest speaker was Lt. Col. John Tao, U.S. Army, retired.  Recognition of the fallen comrades was read by Art Smith.  They included:

*World War I: Hope McFall after whom the American Legion post was named.

*World War II: Kenneth Grisham, Angelo Ponzio, Donald Henson, Delos Stetler, Leslie Harding, Rhys Smith, George Calloway, Roy Warner, Manuel Pimentel, James Weeks, Frank Martin, Clifford Malyon, Harold Jensen, George Shaffer, Lauren Littlefield, Serophine Mendeiros, James Conners, Homer Spence, Donald Reiger, Fred Hesser, Wesley Stuart, Anthony Blanco, Lloyd Bryan, Clifford White, Carl Peterson, John R. Machado, Joseph Pfister, Cyril Whisman, Francis Ray Jackson, Everett Trunbull, Betram Daviner, Dale Sizemore, James Blankenship, Americus Bettencourt, Vicco Peterson, Walter Bigson, Jr., Edwin C. Condos and William Winchester.

*Korean War: Gordon Thompson, Alvin R. Medes, Billy Freeman, Clarence Avila, Clarence McNames, Louis Gomes and John C. Martin.

*Vietnam War: Brock Elliott, Charles white, Fredrick Lopez, William McJimsey, David Gore, Jessee Rodriguez, Caral Borgen, Joseph Tafoya, Robert Davenport, Joseph A. Lewis, Jr., Bruce Sours, Larry Motley, Jack Landers, James Lowry, W. Grant Uhls, William Morgan and Gale Butcher.

*Iraq War: Michael W. Vega and Charles Palmer,  III.

Ringing the bell to remember those who lost their lives was Lindy Melton and a 21-Gun Salute was delivered by veterans of the Manteca Veterans of Foreign Wars.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email