Ripon’s Memorial Day Service led off with a quote from President John F. Kennedy.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
The annual observance at the Ripon Cemetery was presented by the Ripon Memorial Day Committee, comprised of representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1051 and the American Legion Clinton McCausland American Legion Post 190.
“This Monday we should all pause, if only for a moment, from our everyday relaxation to contemplate and reflect in solemn and grateful prayer the enormous lost these countless patriots and their families have endured so that we all can enjoy our freedom, our security and yes, even this national holiday,” noted Bill Bacque.
The Bugle Call was conducted by Mathew Tablit, Sr., and the Presentation of the Colors by the Ripon High JROTC Honor Guard. The National Anthem was sung by Will and Elaine Clark with a “God Bless America “rendition following the invocation by First Baptist Pastor Gino Cunningham.
The Memorial Day Address was given by San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn from District 5.
Linda Shelton, commander of the VFW conducted the Memorial Bell Ceremony with past Commander of the American Legion Ernie Tyhurst remembering the 24 who had fallen from the past conflicts from World War I to the Global War on Terror.
The bell was struck once for each member of the community who gave their life for their country.
First was Clinton McCausland from World War I.
World War II had the greatest number starting with John Van Andel, Henry Bouma, Jr., Raymond Clifton, Wayne Coe, Lyman Fulton, James Haller, William Haller, John Harp, John Kamps, Radomir Kilak, Paul Madsen, Carl Peterson, Viggo Peterson, Oscar Poelstra, John Smit, Richard Van Slyke and Harmon Tornga.
Korea saw three Ripon men lose their lives: Arthur Freshour, Jr., Norman Roesberry and Orville Roesberry. In Vietnam, there was George Coutrakis and Gary Van Tol; in Iraq, Joseph Perry.
The Memorial Wreath Ceremony was conducted by Linda Shelton and Mike Zureich.
It was noted that many of the veterans of World War II are now in their 80s and 90s and dying at a rate of more than 370 each day. Of the 16 million Americans who served in that Great War, it was estimated that as of last year, there were still 620,000 still living with some 55,000 residing in California.
The sounding of Taps and the singing of “America the Beautiful” along with the raising of the half-mast Flag ended the hour-long ceremonies with the retrieving of the Colors.
To contact Glenn Kahl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.