A time to remember

By: Brad Smith -- The Press Tribune
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People in the Roseville area will have a number of ways to honor those who risked their lives to defend our freedoms. There will be two events happening in Roseville on Monday commemorating Memorial Day. Dave Ramsey, commander of Roseville’s American Legion Post 169, said there would be a ceremony at the Roseville Community Cemetery at 11 a.m. “The Roseville Boy Scout troop will be out at 8 a.m. decorating veterans’ grave sites,” he said. “But the main ceremony starts at 11 a.m. sharp.” Congressman Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Assemblyman Ted Gaines and District 1 County Supervisor F.C. “Rocky” Rockholm will be appearing at the ceremony. “Our keynote speaker will be Lt. Col. Jim Bopp,” Ramsey said. “He was in the infantry during the Vietnam War.” Ramsey said that lunch would be served at the Roseville Veterans Memorial Hall. There is no charge for the lunch, he said. A new addition to the observance would be made this year, he said. “We want people to bring pictures of their loved ones and memorabilia to the Hall,” Ramsey said. “We’ll have tables set up where pictures and other items can be put on display. The displays will be up all day.” Some items that Ramsey himself will be displaying are news clippings and War Department telegraphs. “It’s my father’s story,” Ramsey said. “Dad had been captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. However, it’d been reported to my mother that he had been killed in action.” Ramsey said his family would later learn that his father was a prisoner of war months later. “It wasn’t a good situation he was in,” Ramsey said. “But he was alive and he later came home.” It is one of the stories that Ramsey and others want to share as people bring letters, photographs and other items to the Veterans Memorial Hall. “This is an important day to many families like mine,” he said. “My grandfather fought in the first World War, my father in the second, I served in Vietnam and my son has been overseas. Patriotism means a lot to us. Our freedom requires a price to be paid.” The second event will be held at 2 p.m. at the World War II Monument – located at 114 Vernon St. – there will be a ceremony held. Program chairman John Piches – a WWII Navy veteran – hopes many will turn out for the event. “It’s important to recognize the sacrifices that all veterans have made throughout our history,” Piches said. “It’s something we must never forget.” Mayor Gina Garbolino, city councilman John Allard and Rockholm are among those slated to speak at the event. An honor guard of Roseville police and fire personnel will be on hand as well. Piches said that the speakers will talk about sacrifices Americans have made since the Revolutionary War. Both Piches and Ramsey hope that many young people will attend the events. “It’s history and it’s the reason why we’re still here today,” Piches said. “In the aftermath of Dec. 7 (1941) more than 20 percent of Roseville’s men went to war. Many came back but some didn’t. I hope that young people will remember and honor those sacrifices.” Ramsey feels that more people need to focus on what Memorial Day is all about. “It’s not about sales or the beginning of summer vacation,” he said. “It’s about the men and women who willingly gave up many things – even their lives – so we can enjoy our freedoms today.” ---------- The American Legion Memorial Day Observance. When: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday, May 31 Where: Roseville Community Cemetery 421 Berry St. Lunch will be served afterwards at the Roseville Veterans Memorial Hall at 110 Park Dr. For more information call Dave Ramsey at (916) 783-7267. Memorial Day Ceremony sponsored by the City of Roseville and the Roseville Historical Society. When: 2 p.m. Monday, May 31 Where: The World War II Monument 114 Vernon St. For more information call John Piches at (916) 899-4445 or (916) 782-1593. Historical background on “Taps.” The bugle call we now know as “Taps” was originally composed by Civil War Union Army Brigadier General Daniel Butterfield. Both Union and Confederate armies soon used the call. Shortly after the call was composed, a man named Horace Lorenzo Trim wrote these lyrics: Fading light dims the sight and a star gems the sky, gleaming bright From afar drawing nigh, Falls the night. Day is done, gone the sun From the lakes, from the hills, from the skies All is well, safely rest; God is nigh. Then goodnight, peaceful night; Till the light of the dawn shineth bright. God is near, do not fear, Friend, goodnight. Since then, the lyrics have changed over the years but the rest has remained unchanged. ---------- Brad Smith can be reached at