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City ceremony highlights Memorial Day, sacrifice
color guard
Members of the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Honor Guard conduct a formal flag folding ceremony as part of the Memorial Day Ceremony in front of the Veteran’s Wall at the Riverbank Community Center. The program included a laying of wreath at the wall, and the printed program included an explanation of the meaning behind the 13 folds that the flag receives. Ric McGinnis/The News

A small group of Riverbank residents and friends turned out to honor our fallen heroes with a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veteran’s Wall, in front of the Community Center on Monday, May 27.

The program started at 11:30 a.m., with Mayor Richard O’Brien welcoming those in attendance. There was a presentation of the colors by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Honor Guard, followed by the National Anthem.

Former councilman and mayor, Pastor Charles Neal gave an invocation, followed by guest speaker Buck Condit, Stanislaus County District 1 Supervisor. His district includes Riverbank, Oakdale, the east side of Modesto and unincorporated areas of Knights Ferry and Valley Home. He is a Riverbank resident, and retired Fire Captain.

Condit was followed by a ceremonial folding of an American flag by the Honor Guard. The back of the accompanying printed program contained a description of the meaning behind the 13 folds that honors the flag.

The Honor Guard then presented the folded flag to Wynn Layton, grandfather of Hospital Corpsman Third Class James Layton, who is memorialized both on the Veteran’s Wall and with a monument in front of the main flag pole.

He was killed when the Marine unit he was with came under attack in Afghanistan.

Next, Condit, along with Riverbank City Council Member Luis Uribe, an Air Force veteran, teamed up to lay a memorial wreath in front of the wall. Bugler Don Vasquez played Taps, then bagpiper Elisha Akard played Amazing Grace.

Pastor Neal followed with a benediction, then Uribe and Mayor O’Brien teamed up to raise the main flag to full staff, just at noon.

The Memorial Day tradition is to start the day with flags at half-staff, in recognition of all those over the years who have given their lives in defense of our country. At noon, it is raised to full staff, where it remains for the rest of the day.

Condit speak
Stanislaus County District 1 Supervisor Buck Condit was the guest speaker at Monday’s Memorial Day Ceremony at the Veteran’s Wall in front of the Riverbank Community Center. Later, Condit and Council Member Luis Uribe teamed up to lay a commemorative wreath in front of the wall. Ric McGinnis/The News