The Bugle Call opening the Ripon Memorial Day ceremonies at the Ripon Cemetery Monday morning was one of the best coming from a career member of the U.S. Army Band — Starrann Wise.
Wise also ended the morning recognition program with her playing the Taps on her bugle while standing by a tree near the Oregon Street fence allowing the sound to vibrate off of a cemetery building in the middle of the cemetery. Wise retired at the end of her military career just three years ago.
The Memorial was hosted by the Ripon American Legion Post 190 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1051 and their auxiliary groups.
Countless large American flags placed on both side of the concrete roadway through the cemetery saw the JROTC honor guard enter the memorial before a standing crowd beneath a tall evergreen tree.
The National Anthem was sung in concert by Dina and Siegfied Guentensperger with the invocation offered by Pastor Mike Moore of the Crossroads Grace Community Church of Manteca.
A Memorial Bell ceremony was presented by Legionnaire Ernie Tyhurst and Terry Emslie
The names of those who gave their lives from the Ripon Community were remembered with the women ringing a large silver bell.
A Memorial Wreath Ceremony followed with commanders of both the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars — Ernie Tyhurst and Fred Garber — posted the wreath near the podium.
The Memorial ended with the playing of “Amazing Grace” which brought tears to the eyes of some moms in the audience.
“Memorial Day should invigorate each of us to contemplate the lives of the countless men and women who have fought in America’s battle and those who have served their country in support of the military,” Bill Bacque noted. “Each has sacrificed significantly in fighting for the freedom and liberty that we enjoy today. Too often we fail to remember those who age their lives or those whose life today bears the scars of their service as a lasting memory of that sacrifice and commitment.”
It was also noted that of the original 16 million Americans who served in World War II, there were only a few over a million still alive as of last year — 93,000 of them in California — with an estimated 555 dying every day.