Manteca’s 31st mural — “Zero Hour” representing World War I — was dedicated Saturday along with the Manteca Mural Society’s entire veterans’ wall.
More than 300 people were on hand in the Manteca Bedquarters parking lot to honor those who have served, to remember those who fell, and to celebrate the 15-year mark of the mural project.
The endeavor was lauded as the largest effort of its kind in the nation for a mural project focused on the five major wars of the past century — World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Global War on Terror. The $125,000 project took six years to complete.
Muralist Ella Yates — who painted the mural designed by Dave Gordon — told the gathering of all the murals that she has done this was the most emotional for her to do.
Three men from the greater Manteca area lost their lives in battle during World War I.
*Sgt. Hope McFall, 26, US Army, Co. L 363rd Infantry, was killed in action on Oct. 1, 1918, in France. He was the first man from Manteca to be killed in action. His picture is third from the left in “Zero Hour” mural. His son John — who was born after he died — went on to serve in World War II and eventually was elected as Manteca’s mayor as well as to the California Assembly before serving in Congress and rising to the position of Democratic Party Whip that was the third most powerful posit in the House of Representatives at the time.
*Corporal Earl Woodward, 28, US Army, 363rd Infantry, was killed in action Oct. 1, 1918. McFall and Woodward served in the same unit and died on the same day. Both men were from Manteca.
*Private James Joseph Chio, 18, US Army, Co. G. 58th Infantry, bravely laid down his life Aug. 7, 1918. He was from Lathrop.
Saturday marked almost 15 years to the day when the mural society dedicated its first mural just across the street on the side of the Century Furniture building on the occasion of Manteca’s 85th anniversary of incorporation. The mural “Crossroads 1918” depicts what you would see standing in the middle of Main Street a century ago looking west down Yosemite Avenue.
The mural society’s next project will be on the eastern facing wall of the Spin Cycle Laundry Lounge in the 100 block of East Yosemite. It will depict the actual completion of the Transcontinental Railroad at Mossdale Crossing on the San Joaquin River.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com