Susan Dell’Osso takes Memorial Day to heart.
That’s because her family was among the millions who owe their lives to blood spilled by American soldiers.
Her mother Corry Kruip who now resides in River Islands at Lathrop was liberated from a Nazi Germany work camp in Northern Holland by American soldiers in World War II. Her father Gerrard Kruip, who has since passed away, escaped from a German work camp and joined the Allied effort fighting alongside Americans and Canadians as well as driving a flamethrower tank.
“Americans freed the entire world,” Dell’Osso said. “People forget that. In World War I and World War II it was America that saved the world.”
Her parents and the freedom they enjoy as well as the opportunities American soldiers have afforded her and others by protecting these shores is why Dell’Osso and her husband Ron are staunch supporters of Sunday’s Memorial Weekend Commemoration at Woodward Park. Dell’Osso Farms underwrites expenses associated with the military aircraft flybys.
The Nazis initially rounded up all men and teen boys in Holland and placed them in work camps that were similar to concentration camps. Dell’Osso’s father managed to escape. He was shot in the ankle during the process.
Dell’Osso’s mother — who had yet to meet her future husband — suffered the fate of Dutch women and girls. They were ordered to live in basements. In her mother’s case that was with four other women. They were issued ration cards to secure bread and other food when it was available.
After about a month of such treatment, Dell’Osso said as her mother was going to secure food she decided she was not going to accept such treatment. The occupiers didn’t react kindly to her behavior and sent her off to a work camp. A year later the gates of the work camp were opened as the Germans had fled with the advance of the Allies.
“They didn’t want the Allies to see how they kept people,” Dell’Osso said.
Her mom walked several days to reach her hometown only to discover Germans still occupied the city.
The Nazis rounded up her and others who had returned and packed them into cattle cars with no room to spare. They were sent away to another camp with even worse conditions. A month later the work camp was liberated by the Allies.
Dell’Osso said because of that experience her mom still sleeps with a light on and is leery of German Shepherds.
“They (the Nazis) would make the rounds at night and have the dogs nudge everyone to make sure they were in bed and (not trying to escape),” Dell’Osso said.
How her parents met was due to the generosity of Dell’Osso’s grandmother. After the war Holland was in ruins. Dell’Osso’s grandmother every night would open her window overlooking the street and point to four to five people and invite them up to dinner.
One night one of those invitees was Gerard Kruip.
It was that evening after meeting him that Corry said to herself she was “going to marry that man.”
They married but the recovery from war made living in Holland tough.
That is when a pen-pal of Corry’s from Anaheim that she first started writing when she was 16 came to the rescue. After the war, the only way you could immigrate to the United States was if you had a sponsor, brought $500 in cash, and left everything else behind.
Her parents did just that, leaving everything they owned and family to journey to the United States.
“My parents became citizens as quick as they could,” Dell’Osso said. “My mother says the proudest day of her life was when she became an American citizen.”
The couple settled in Fullerton had have five children — four sons and their daughter. Dell’Osso’s father worked as a printer to support his family.
There are five different events this three-day weekend honoring those who have fallen while serving America as well as those who served in the military and have since passed away.
6:30 a.m. Registration for Wounded Warrior Christopher Braley 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and Freedom Smog
7 p.m. Marine Cpl. Charles O. Palmer II Memorial Car Show registration begins
8 a.m. Wounded Warrior Christopher Braley 5K Run/Walk sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and Freedom Smog starts.
8 a.m. Flyover and cannon fire
8 a.m. Breakfast by Nulaid Eggs
8 a.m. Marine Cpl. Charles O. Palmer II 8th Annual Classic Car Show
9 a.m. Flag raising ceremony (Ripon VFW Post 1051)
9 a.m. Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Patrol chopper landing
10 a.m. REACH Air Medical Flight Helicopter lands
10 a.m. Free kids’ energy zone, military exhibits, food and drink concessions open
10 a.m. Chapel worship
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Memorial Theater
10:30 a.m. CAF/Central Valley Squadron Goony Birds fly over
11 a.m. Manteca Police Department & Ripon Police Department SWAT and K9 demonstrations
Noon Patriotic Music on the Veterans Stage
12:15 a.m. Sheriff’s helicopter takes off for processional
12:30 p.m. Processional led by Patriot Guard riders
12:45 p.m. Arrival of the Gold Star families
1 p.m. Community Memorial Service and Missing Man Formation fly over
2 p.m. Ranell Carpenter on the Veterans Stage
3 p.m. Fred White on the Veterans Stage
3:30 p.m. Flyover featuring a World War II bomber from the Stockton Air Museum
4 p.m. Advocates on the Veterans Stage
4 p.m. Helicopters will take off
6 p.m. JD Greer performing on the Veterans Stage
7 p.m. Revived performs on the Veterans Stage
8 p.m. Simone Benoit on the Veterans Stage
9 p.m. Fireworks celebrating the safe return of all who have worn the cloth of our nation sponsored by Manteca Christian Preschool
The Traveling Tribute will remain open for public viewing through 4 p.m. on Monday.
10 a.m. Ripon Cemetery, Ripon. Memorial Day ceremonies
10 a.m. East Union Cemetery, Manteca. Memorial Day Ceremonies
11 a.m. Lathrop Veterans Memorial, Valverde Park on Fifth Street, Lathrop. Memorial Day ceremonies
11 a.m. Park View Cemetery Memorial Day ceremonies