Mary Torres — one of the famous Rosie the Riveters that built Liberty ships in Bay Area shipyards to help America fight in World War II — is an honored guest for this year’s Memorial Day Weekend Not Forgotten Commemoration on Sunday, May 29, at Woodward Park.
The San Leandro resident also will deliver the keynotes speech during Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday, May 30, at East Union Cemetery that is being staged by American Legion Post 249.
The 92-year-old Torres was one of more than 4,000 women working at Moore’s Shipyard in Oakland. She headed to California in June of 1942 as an 18-year-old high school graduate from Pennsylvania using all the money she had saved working at JC Penney to buy a one-way ticket to answer a call for people to fill jobs for the war effort. She first secured work at McClellan Field in Sacramento. Then she got the job as a shipyard welder. Within six months she was the top welder working on large steel plates on the ship’s hull.
Returning to Manteca for the event is Sammy Davis. He is a French Camp native and former Manteca High student who was conferred the Congressional Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War.
In addition to remembrance ceremonies and numerous static displays including 7,000 plus crosses representing those who have fallen in the Global War on Terror, the day will include a fun run and car show and capped with an aerial fireworks display.
The Memorial Theater will have show time between 10 and 4:30 p.m.
The Veterans Stage after worship services at 10 a.m. led by Paul Cocoa will feature the following entertainment:
Noon to 1:30 p.m., Patriotic Music
2 to 3 p.m., Ranell Carpenter
3 to 4 p.m., Fred White
5 to 6 p.m., the Advocates
6 to 7 p.m., JD Greer
7 to 8 p.m., Revived
8 to 9 p.m., Simone Benoit
The event is free. For more information go to www.memorialweekend.org.