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So we never forget
Event includes 2 flyovers of Woodward Park
A C-17 flies over Woodward Park during last years Memorial Day Weekend Commemoration ceremonies. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms will be remembered on land and in the air during the Memorial Day Weekend Commemoration at Woodward Park.

The Welcome Home Heroes Foundation event includes two flyovers during the Sunday, May 29, event:

•8 a.m., a World War T-35 flyover.

•3 p.m., a rare missing man formation flyover featuring three C-130 aircraft.

There will also be three military helicopters landing.

The flyovers are part of a day-long program aimed at honoring both those who have served and made the ultimate sacrifice as well as celebrating the safe return home of other veterans.

A low-key opening for the weekend takes place at noon on Saturday, May 28, when the traveling tribute to those who have fallen in the Global War on Terror as well as 6,000 memorial crosses open.

The rest of the events are on Sunday, May 29. They include:

•8 a.m.; The “Wounded Warrior Christopher Braley 5K run/walk” begins. The application fee is $25 until May 21 when the fee will go up to $35. All participants will get a free omelet breakfast provided by NuLaid Eggs and NuCal Foods in Ripon and an event T-shirt. Applications are available for download at

•9 a.m.; Omelet breakfast served.

•9:30 a.m. Opening ceremony at the Traveling Tribute by the Ripon Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1051.

•10 a.m.; Marine Cpl. Charles O. Palmer Car Show with Joe Kowalski’s “Bad Rat Monster Truck” on display.

•10 a.m.; Community Worship Service with Word of Life Church from MiWuk.

•11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Concessions open, three helicopter landings, Manteca Police Department demonstrations, Kids Play Zone (petting zoo, pony rides, bounce houses) sponsored by South San Joaquin Irrigation District, Cal-Crush Clydesdale horse & carriage rides, military vehicle static displays, exhibitors booths.

•2:30 p.m.; volunteers are being asked to create a corridor using 200 American flags for the arrival of Gold Star families.

•3 p.m.; Dedication of the “Tenth Panel” of the Welcome Home Heroes Traveling Tribute honoring fallen hero DC3 Nathan Bruckenthal, U.S. Coast Guard.

•4:30 p.m.; “We Are Family” in concert.

•5 p.m.; “Revived” in concert.

•5:30 p.m.; “Aslan” in concert.

•6 p.m.; Official ceremony.

•7:30 p. m.; Country music artist, American Idol finalist, and former Marine Josh Gracin in free concert.

• 9 p.m.; fireworks to “Welcome Home” our heroes in the military.

On Monday at 11:30 a.m., the second annual Memorial Day parade takes place along Yosemite Avenue between Library Park and Manteca High in downtown Manteca.

Friday is the deadline for entries. Veterans who have entries are not being charged to enter the parade. All other entries are $50 to help offset the cost of staging the parade.

Marine Colonel Adrian W. Burke is serving as the grand marshal for the Manteca Memorial Day parade. Burke assumed command of the Defense Logistics Agency Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin on June 4, 2010. His previous assignment was as the Director of Logistics for U.S. Forces Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

For more information contact the chamber at 823-6121.