Antioch honors military service members with Veterans Day ceremony, parade and BBQ lunch

The new Antioch Veterans Memorial mural.

Tom Menasco honored as Antioch Lifetime Veteran of the Year and J.R. Wilson as Antioch Veteran of the Year 2021-22

By Allen Payton

Antioch honored its military veterans on Veterans Day, on the 11th day of the 11th month, last Thursday, with a pancake breakfast, ceremonies at the Antioch Marina boat launch, a parade down W. Second Street in historic, downtown and a BBQ lunch at the VFW Post. The ceremony also included a rededication of the Antioch Veterans Memorial with the new mural on display for the first-time during Veterans Day. It concluded with the presentation of the Antioch Lifetime and Veterans of the Year.

The festivities began with the breakfast provided by the Antioch Rivertown Veterans Lions Club while the band Spinning Wheel performed on stage. J.R. Wilson, President of the Delta Veterans Group and Velma Wilson served as M.C.’s for the ceremony. The opening prayer was offered by Gabe Makinano, the presentation of colors by the Sea Cadets, the raising of the flag by the Antioch Police Department Honor Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Matthew Wilson and the National Anthem was performed by Velma Wilson. Taps was then performed by a trumpeter from the Antioch High School Marching Band. Martha Parsons then introduced local officials, other dignitaries and their representatives. District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock and District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica were in attendance.

The combined bands of Antioch High and Deer Valley High Schools performed the official songs of all four military branches including the U.S. Air Force’s song Wild Blue Yonder, the Navy Hymn, The Army Goes Rolling Along and The Marines’ Hymn.

Tom Menasco of the Veterans Memorial Banner Program honored the key volunteers who have helped make the program a reality. There are now 158 banners lining Antioch streets honoring local veterans. Another nine will be posted by Christmas, he shared.

Student speakers included Annabelle Van Dyke, a fourth grader at Mission Elementary School and eighth grader Blake West, the student body president at Park Middle School.

The Antioch Veterans Memorial was rededicated, with a special plaque presented to former Antioch Mayor Sean Wright. Artist Javier Rocabado spoke, again about the mural he was commissioned to paint.

Tom Menasco was honored with the Antioch Lifetime Veterans of the Year 2021-22 by 2017 honoree Paul Scannell, and J.R. Wilson was honored as the Antioch Veteran of the Year 2021-22.

That was followed by the parade flowing west to east on W. Second Street. A barbeque lunch was then held at the Antioch VFW Post 6435 ending the day’s activities.

The day’s sponsors included the Antioch Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Antioch American Legion, Delta Veterans Group, City of Antioch Parks and Recreation, Maintenance and Police Departments, Antioch Rivertown Veterans Lions Club, Tri Delta Transit and Smith’s Landing Seafood Grill.

Jack Silva of Silva’s Family Memorials stands next to the monument his company made and was erected in 1996 and dedicated in May 1997. It is made of granite all quarried in California. His sister Janice Silva-Moore is the company owner.

The band Spinning Wheel performed before the ceremony began.

Gabe Makinano offered the opening and closing prayers.

Velma Wilson sang the National Anthem.

Taps was performed by a trumpeter from the Antioch High School Marching Band.

Tom Menasco speaks about the Veterans Memorial Banner Program and honors the key volunteers.

The key Veterans Banner program volunteers honored with plaques.

Annabelle Van Dyke, a fourth grader at Mission Elementary School was one of the student speakers during the ceremony.

District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock speaks during the ceremony, representing the City.

Eighth grader Blake West and student body president at Park Middle School

Former Antioch Mayor Wright was presented with a plaque by J.R. Wilson to honor him for his leadership on the improvements to the Veterans Memorial and new mural.

the attachments to this post:

Taps at Antioch Veterans Day 2021



Veterans Banner program volunteers honored

Former Antioch Mayor Wright honored

Student speaker Blake West



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