The little park surrounding the Ebbetts Pass Veterans Memorial District Monument in Murphys was packed Friday as vets and their supporters came out in commemoration of Veterans Day.
“We need to get together like this to appreciate what we have all done. Thank you,” said Gary Lewis, member of EPVMD and co-master of ceremonies with district President Jim Carlon.
The ceremony was organized by 17-year-old Bret Harte senior Mike Rocco, who wanted to show veterans, including his grandfather, Jim Carlon, that he and the community appreciate their service.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing,” said Kathryn Runkle, who was a Navy Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) officer during World War II.
“They need to be honored.” She said her husband, Albert, served 21 years in the U.S. Army.
Each veteran in the crowd was recognized for their service, and Boy Scout Troop No. 343 out of Murphys provided the color guard and led the pledge of allegiance, and Linda Woolworth led the crowd in patriotic songs during the ceremony.
“It went perfect,” Rocco said after the ceremony. “It was bigger than I expected. … I couldn’t be any happier.”
“Every time we do this it brings us together,” said veteran Dominic Aronce of Murphys. “This country right now, it needs a lot of bringing together.”
In continuing with his project, Rocco plans to make a mini-park setting around the monument. He said he wants to plant trees and shrubs, add gravel and a park bench in coming months.
Any donations toward Rocco’s project can be made by contacting the Ebbetts Pass Veterans Memorial District, c/o Mike Rocco, Senior Project, at P.O. Box 175, Murphys, CA 95247.
Contact Kate Gonzales at email@example.com.
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