Madera's Memorial Day Service Packed With Extra Meaning For Some

May 25, 2009 5:06:32 PM PDT
For half a century now Madera has hosted a Memorial Day service at the old court house to honor all U.S. soldiers; alive and fallen.Action news reporter John-Thomas Kobos was there Monday morning with the community's reaction to the area's most recent loss.Madera is an area full of military pride. It is no surprise that their most recent loss would drive home the meaning of today's service. The last Monday of May is always a special time for military families and patriots in Madera.

"It's a very heart felt day for our veterans," said Gloria Jones.

Michael Mazir said: "My way of thinking all these guys and the VFW are my heroes."

"I have always been patriotic," said Virginia Lee-Rose.

And Tony Farmer said: "All those who are here today and not here today, I'm extremely proud."

One guest speaker urged everyone to remember Memorial Day is more than just a day off. "It's not a 3-day weekend. It's not the kick off to summer. It's the day we have a duty," they said.

That duty is to honor the fallen.

Every flag outside the old Madera court house represents a fallen soldier from the area. There are 295 of them. The most recent addition?Raul Moncada.

"Under the circumstances now it's an honor to be here," said Julio Moncada.

Julio Moncada said his younger brother lived to serve the United States. He dedicated 12-years of his life to it before dying in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq April 13th. Sgt. Moncada's family attended Monday's ceremony with their heads held high.

"To actually pay salute to all these fallen hero's of ours. Has more meaning I guess, Yes it does. It has a lot more meaning now. A lot," said Moncada.

And really brings home what Memorial Day means to everyone here.

"We are very indebted to his family for what he has done for us," said Jones.

"When you go into service you know, you know you might not come back," said Farmer.

"I don't care how much combat I've been through I hate losing anybody," said Mazir.

The flags outside the old courthouse are there for only 2-days. The tradition of placing them there only dates back to the early 90's.

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