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Remembrance, Reflection, Dedication Featured In Ceremony
In remembrance of the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America, Riverbank residents gathered for dedication of five new plaques on their memorial wall outside the city's Community Center.

The brief ceremony began with the presentation of colors by the Riverbank High School Naval Junior Reserves Officer Training Corps, the flag salute and then the national anthem performed by the RHS band.

Offered at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, organizers hoped to draw in local residents heading home from work. The gathering drew a sizeable crowd and included remarks from members of the Riverbank City Council, in addition to some special guests.

Pastor Adam Lema of Journey Church offered the invocation and said the solemn remembrance of the day brought to mind those who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks and also those service members who have been lost in service to this country.

"Let us never forget the magnitude of their sacrifice," Lema said.

Riverbank Mayor Virginia Madueno welcomed the crowd, thanking them for coming out for the Patriots Day and Dedication Ceremony, hosted by the city.

"This entire memorial is a tribute to ordinary people called to do extraordinary things," Madueno said. "We recognize their sacrifice.

"Each of these plaques represent a son, an uncle, a father ... these are our family, our community."

Also offering remarks were vice mayor Dotty Nygard and council members Richard O'Brien and Jeanine Tucker.

"Elven years ago today, America was forever changed," Nygard said. "We will never forget."

O'Brien also highlighted the dedication of plaques, saying the service of those in the military needs to be recognized.

"Their families know all too well what is given up," he said of missed birthdays, holidays without the service member at home, and the possibility of losing them altogether. "Today we dedicate a very small gift to those who sacrificed all for our freedom."

Council members unveiled the five new plaques added to the Memorial Wall, recognizing the service of those lost in battle. World War II veterans now remembered on the wall are Pvt. Warren H. Burkett, Pvt. Waymon J. Luton and Pvt. Floyd E. Osgood, all Army; and 1LT Victor L. Johnson, Air Force. From the Korean War, a plaque is dedicated to CPL Wallace W. Van Dyke, a member of the Army.

"We thank and appreciate the families of our fallen heroes and those that fight on," said Tucker.

Also stepping to the podium was DeLloyd Van Dyke, who helped coordinate the effort to recognize the additional service members.

His message was simple.

"If there are those of you out there who hire, please consider a veteran," he urged.

He said veterans trying to transition back to civilian life often find the way difficult.

"Nothing seems firm," he said, adding that he found himself floundering and depressed after his service, but did find a job that brought him back.

"I did come out of it, thanks to Mr. Zerillo," he said.

County Supervisor Bill O'Brien also urged the crowd to remember Patriots Day, honor those lost and continue to remain vigilant.

Closing out the ceremony was Pastor Doug Myers of the Oasis of Hope Church with a prayer, Wayne Hill with the playing of Taps and Jared Myers performing Amazing Grace on the bagpipes.

The high school band also offered a few more selections as attendees enjoyed refreshments provided by the Royal Neighbors of America Chapter 9890.