The community gathered Wednesday to salute veterans during ceremonies at in the Veterans Park at the corner of Locust and First streets in Ripon’s downtown where a wall of names remembers all who served American that heralded from Ripon
The oldest veterans were pushed to the park in their wheelchairs from Bethany Convalescent Home in the 900 block of Main Street to take part. One veteran stood out with a “Marine”’ baseball cap that pretty much told others of his allegiance but it didn’t indicate his rank.
It was soon learned that he was actually Marine Major Dennis Abrahamson who served aboard a Navy ship out of San Diego some 50 years ago. He was with his daughter Karen Fredrikz who sat close to her dad in his wheelchair with her husband nearby.
The ceremonies began with opening bugle calls of “Assembly” and “Guard Mounting.” Smartly posting The Colors was the Ripon High School JROTC Honor Guard. Offering the invocation was Pastor Randy Eskes of the Ripon Police Department
Manuel Lopez the retired San Joaquin County Chief Executive served as master of ceremonies. Lopez is also the Second vice Commander of Ripon’s American Legion Post 190.
Speakers included Mayor Leo Zuber and Chuck Winn of Ripon representing the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.
The emcee asked those in attendance who had served in one of the four military branches to stand and be recognized as their battle hymns were played in the background. The benediction was offered by Pastor Randy Eskes of the Ripon Police Department and the concluding bugle call played was the “Adjutant’s Call.”
At the conclusion of the event the crowd joined in singing “God Bless America.” Many went into the Veterans Museum on the grounds and others walked over to the black veterans’ wall outside the museum.
Everyone was invited to retreat to the VFW Hall on West Ripon Road for a light lunch compliments of the VFW post.