The Veterans Wall with its names of Ripon servicemen, set the backdrop for the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars joint Veterans Day event outside the military museum at First Street and Locust Avenue in the community’s downtown Friday morning at 11.
Serving as master of ceremonies was Ripon Police Chief Ed Ormonde who welcomed the guests following the Assembly and Guard Mounting bugle calls. Ormonde is the second vice-commander of American Legion Post 190.
The invocation and benediction prayers were offered by Pastor Gino Cunningham of Ripon’s First Baptist Church.
Guest speakers were American Legion Service Officer Ken Lawson, Ripon Mayor Jake Parks and San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn.
Lawson said that one of the most difficult challenges for any veteran is getting their records – DD-214s and separation papers that they need later in their lives. He said the vets still face long lines in attempting to get those papers and it is the Legion’s service officers whose job it is to see that become easier for them.
Mayor Parks said it was the first time he was asked to speak and offered his respect for all those who served their country in uniform. He said his grandfather had served aboard an aircraft carrier in Korea and brother Patrick is in the Army Reserves currently in a nursing school in Bethesda, Maryland, along with a cousin also serving in the Army Reserves in the medical field. At the conclusion of the ceremonies, a third grade boy, Brodie Alves of Park View School, searched out Parks and asked him to give him his autograph.
Supervisor Chuck Winn pointed to the late mayor of Ripon, Red Nutt saying he was the epitome of the American veteran stressing, “I miss him greatly.”
Winn noted Nutt continually gave of himself to the community he served and to his family.
Bonnie Cursey stood with her husband Joe at the Wall looking for his name and that of their son Scott, both of whom had served in the Air Force.
Soloist Beverly Claussen sang the National Anthem, America the Beautiful and the Battle Hymn of the Republic throughout the hour long program that saw a group of seniors from Bethany home – several in wheelchairs – who walked down Main Street to the patriotic event.
Placing of the Veterans Honor Wreath was carried out by Susan Lawson, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 190 and Terry Emslie, president, VFW Post 1051 Ladies Auxiliary as well as Mike Zureich, commander of the American Legion Post 190 and Linda Shelton, Commander, VFW Post 1051.
At the conclusion of the event the closing theme read: “We must never forget those who gave so much to defend the cause of freedom, nor must we allow the spirit of patriotism to diminish in our hearts.”
The audience was urged to move to the VFW Hall on West Ripon Road for a special luncheon.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email email@example.com.