The final segment of the Vietnam War mural that includes the names of the 17 Manteca men that died serving America is nearing completion.
Muralist Linda Shrader is painting the mural in sections. Parts of the floating frame it will be mounted on are already in place on the eastern facing wall of the Manteca Bedquarters in downtown Manteca. In the coming weeks the mural will be pieced together on the wall with Shrader doing the finishing touch-up work so the image is seamless.
The mural commissioned by the Manteca Mural Society has been highly anticipated by the community’s Vietnam veterans that are primarily in their 60s and 70s. The society, with the concurrence of local veterans groups, wanted to make sure the World War II and Korean War murals were done first given veterans from those wars were older and their ranks thinning.
The five mural project — that includes the initial Global War on Terror mural and the World War I mural that will be created next — is designed to recognize the sacrifice all Manteca veterans have made during wars to secure our freedoms and liberties. While other communities have veteran murals, muralists have indicated they are unaware of any other location in California that has such an ambitious undertaking on one wall.
The side of the Manteca Bedquarters located in the building the IOOF built 103 years ago was selected for two reasons. It is the most prominent and tallest wall in downtown by its location at Main and Yosemite that serves as the historical and geographic center for Manteca. It is also where the “Wall of Honor” was started in World War II. The gigantic board sign eventually listed the 965 from Manteca that ended up serving in World War II.
The Vietnam Mural will be dedicated on Saturday, May 20, at 11 a.m. at Yosemite Avenue and Main Street in downtown Manteca.
Pastor Mike Dillman will serve as the keynote speaker. Dillman is a Vietnam veteran and architect of the Not Forgotten Memorial Weekend Commemoration that this year will feature 7,000 crosses representing the fallen in the Global War on Terror that will be on display for 30 days starting in mid-May along Interstate 5 at Dell’Osso Farms.
The Brock Elliott School choir will perform. Not only is Brock Elliott School named in honor of the first Manteca man to fall in Vietnam but students every school day enter the campus passing 17 large stones that each have a plaque for the 17 men from Manteca who died in Vietnam.
The weekend after the mural dedication — May 27 — a fill the helmet fundraiser will take place to help pay for the World War I mural. Each of the five murals cost $25,000 apiece.
For more information on the Manteca Mural Society or to join go to www.mantecamurals.com
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com