Observing Memorial Day

Ramona Community Brass Band members present an honorary gun salute during Memorial Day ceremonies at Nuevo Memory Gardens. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson
Ramona Community Brass Band members present an honorary gun salute during Memorial Day ceremonies at Nuevo Memory Gardens. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

An estimated 250 people attended Memorial Day ceremonies at Nuevo Memory Gardens cemetery on Monday.

Presented by Ramona Veterans of Foreign Wars and its auxiliary, the ceremony featured Vietnam veteran and Ramona teacher, coach, and sportswriter Bill Tamburrino as guest speaker, the Ramona High School NJROTC color guard, Ramona Community Brass Band, buglar U.S. Navy Reserve Lt. J.R. Guernsey, and an honorary gun salute by members of the community brass band.

Kory Martenson of the Men's Auxiliary and Rose Busang of the Ladies Auxiliary

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Men’s Auxiliary Chaplain Kory Martenson and Ladies Auxiliary President Rose Busang stand as the bugler plays “Taps” after they placed a wreath at the gravesite of the unknown soldier. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

placed a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier, and VFW's Dale Smith presented bouquets of flowers to Gold Star mothers Laurie McGlone, whose son U.S. Army Cpl. Jeremiah Santos was killed June 15, 2006, in Baghdad, Iraq, and Maria Ojeda, whose son U.S. Army Spc. 4 Ramon C. Ojeda was killed May 1, 2004, in Am-a-rah, Iraq.

Doug Scholl served as master of ceremonies, Dave Castberg sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” Ramona High senior Grace Wooley sang the national anthem, Gloria Frayer provided the invocation, and the audience applauded the 63 veterans at the event after they introduced themselves, telling when and where they entered the service.

Boy Scout Troop 768 assisted at the ceremony. Flags were on the graves of the estimated 600 veterans buried in the Ramona cemetery. Twenty-four were killed in action, Scholl said, adding “we’re thankful this last year we did not add another one.”

VFW held two other ceremonies on Memorial Day, one at the World War II monument and one at the Vietnam Memorial on state Route 67.

Here is Bill Tamburrino's Memorial Day speech:

Memorial Day is about thank you

I was born on Memorial Day 66 years ago. My grandparents called the holiday Decoration Day. After several years of thinking that the nation was celebrating my birth, I learned what Memorial Day is really all about.

Memorial Day is about saying thank you.

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Guest speaker Bill Tamburrino talks about giving thanks for those who have died to make possible the freedoms we enjoy. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

On Thanksgiving we give thanks for our country and our freedoms. On Memorial Day we give thanks to those who made this country and its freedoms possible. We give thanks, celebrate, and honor those who died while serving this great nation.

All that have served gave some. The ones we are honoring today gave all.

Who were those brave souls?

They were men and women, husbands, fathers and sons, wives, mothers and daughters.

They started dying for this nation before we became a nation. They continue to die as we honor them now. Plato has been right so far. Only the dead have seen the end of war.

They died on the land, on the sea, and in the air.

They volunteered and they were drafted.

They were rich and they were poor.

They were born in the United States and they immigrated to the United States.

They are represented by every ethnicity that has made America what it is today.

They were enlisted and they were commissioned.

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Joaquin Ojeda, 2, touches flowers given to Gold Star mother Maria Ojeda, whose son, U.S. Army Spc. 4 Ramon C. Ojeda was killed May 1, 2004, in Am-a-rah, Iraq. Joaquin is Ramon’s nephew. Also pictured are Calrissa McFeeley and Anevey Ojeda, both nieces of Ramon. Sentinel photo/Maureen Robertson

They were E-1s and they were generals.

They were highly educated and they were illiterate.

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