South County pauses Friday on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to remember all of those who have served America.
• 11 a.m. inside the John McFall Room at the Manteca Library on Center Street in downtown Manteca.
• 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Wall at Valverde Park in Lathrop.
• 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Wall, 311 First St. at Main St., in Ripon.
Veterans Day was established the year after Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918 that marked the end of the “War to end all wars” - World War I. The Manteca ceremony is taking place in the room at the library named after the late Congressman John McFall of Manteca who at one time was the third highest ranking Democrat in Congress. His father Hope McFall died in battle in France during World War I just a week before his birth.
“They’ve been predicting bad weather all week and it’s supposed to be stormy on Friday, so we’re having (the ceremonies) inside,” said Commander Rodney Savage of the VFW Post 6311.
The featured guest speaker will be Norm Knodt, a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War.
The Honor Guard will be members of the American Legion Post in Manteca and the VFW combined.
After the ceremonies, refreshments will be served by the members of the VFW Auxiliary.
In Ripon, Veterans Day ceremonies on Friday will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Park located on the corner of First and Locust streets where the memorial wall and hall are located. Ripon’s VFW and American Legion posts are coordinating the day’s events.
After the ceremonies, all veterans are invited to the VFW Hall at 12544 West Ripon Road where the Ladies Auxiliary will be serving free barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs from noon until 2 p.m. This is an annual event sponsored by the members of the VFW Auxiliary, said president Sherry Layson.
In Lathrop, the solemn observance of Veteran’s Day will be held at the Veterans Memorial at Manuel Valverde Park starting at 11 a.m. Presenting the colors will be members of the JROTC program at Lathrop High School. Valverde Park is located at 15557 Fifth Street. Guest speaker will be Chief Petty Officer (ret.) John Bacon of the United States Navy. For additional information about the event, call the City of Lathrop Parks and Recreation at (209) 941-7370.
Free car wash for veterans
In what has become an annual tradition at Quicki-Kleen Car Wash on East Yosemite Avenue, corner of Washington Street, just across from Lincoln Elementary School, veterans may have a complimentary express car wash between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Veterans Day, Friday. This is “to show Quicki-Kleen’s support for our armed forces, and to reward the veterans for their service,” said owner/operator Francene Antonio.
Mass today for veterans
The 9 o’clock school Mass this morning at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church in Manteca is being offered honor of all veterans.
“Everyone is invited,” whether they are members of the parish or not, said St. Anthony School Principal Mary Lou Hoffman.
The invitation is not only for veterans but for the general public as well, she said.
Presiding over the celebration of the Mass is Father Patrick Walker, pastor of St. Anthony’s church.
The Knights of Columbus Council at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Ripon will be posting the colors. The color corps will be led by the council’s color commander, Mark Lilly.
Coordinating the special Mass honoring all veterans are teachers Marianne Tolberg who is the Student Council moderator, and fifth-grade teacher Kim Morenzone.
Following the Mass, all are invited to a small reception in the cafeteria.
This is the first time the school is holding a special service for all veterans. It will be an annual event from now on, the principal said.
At the beginning of the school year on September 11, the students of St. Anthony’s School also held a Blue Mass in honor of all responders.536.