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Crowd Gathers For Memorial
Some seated in chairs brought in for the service, others standing reverently amidst the small American flags decorating the graves of servicemen, a large crowd gathered at Burwood Cemetery outside Escalon for Memorial Day services on Monday morning.

Hosted by the Escalon American Legion Gustafson Thompson Post, the program featured brief remarks by Post Commander Mark Sward, a reading by Sergeant-at-Arms Darrell Voortman, the presentation of the colors and a rifle salute by the colorguard and the playing of Taps by Ripon resident Bert Van Dyke. Offering the invocation ad a closing prayer was Post Chaplain Jay Davis.

He said a special prayer for those servicemen and women currently serving overseas in such war torn areas as Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Keep and protect them ... help them to come home quickly and safely to the ones they left behind," Davis said.

Sward also made mention of two veterans, sitting front and center for the ceremony. Angelo Dugo and Ray Thompson both saw action in the Pacific and the two Marines were given special recognition at the ceremony.

Dugo, confined to a wheelchair now, served as a combat photographer and Thompson was involved in several different campaigns as well. Following the service, the two shared memories and compared stories, along with accepting hugs and handshakes from well wishers.