Hot LZ Memorial Wall keeps memories alive
Army Major Jimmy Chen stood at a podium before the Hot LZ Memorial Wall Sunday afternoon and said people die twice: the first time when your physical body dies, and again when the living no longer remember you.
As the keynote speaker for the Memorial Day ceremony at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden on Highway 97, Chen urged the approximately 200 people in attendance to reflect on those who sacrificed so much and to keep their memories alive.
On an afternoon that was alternately warm and sunny, cloudy and blustery, 43 new names were added to the wall during the ceremony hosted annually by the Weed/Lake Shastina Kiwanis.
Bagpiper Dave Alexander opened the event with a rendition of "Dawn of the Day" and an invocation was given by Robert Menzies. Marine Corps League Siskiyou Detachment 936 presented the colors and performed a gun salute. John Kessler performed Taps on trumpet. The benediction was courtesy of Pastor Ben Whetstine of the Mt. Shasta Assembly of God Church. Master of Ceremonies was Dean Whetstine, Commander US Navy, Retired.
Suzanne Breceda, Dr. John Runnels and Nancy Wallace read aloud the names of those people whose names were added to the wall since Veterans Day.
Whetstine announced a new name was added to the Gene Breceda Sponsor Wall. Todd Cory helped the LMSG install solar panels for electricity and heat, he said.
Weston and Jana Sutherland, along with their children, Emmett and Ella, have been traveling from their home in Oak Park to Siskiyou County every Memorial Day for the past 10 years to attend the ceremony at the Sculpture Garden. The names of several members of their family are engraved on the Hot LZ Wall.
After Sunday's ceremony, Weston lifted 15 month-old Emmett high so he could touch the names of his grandfathers, Mickey Sutherland and Robert Farley.
The following is a list of the names added to the Hot LZ Memorial Wall:
CPL John W. Vogt, USMC WWII
SN1C Benjamin L. Boyd, USN WWII
SMSGT Charles R. Evans, Jr., USAF VN
PFC Peter A. Hill, USA VN, Killed in Action
SSGT Lony Joe Patton, USAF
EM3C James A Smith, USN WWII
RM2C Ralph Barbero, USN, WWII
TECH 5 Jerome J. Franklin, Sr., USA WWII
SSGT Dallas L. Dennis, USA WWII
CPL Robert E. Cottini, USMC, Korea
LTCOL Walter E. Matula, USAF Korea, VN
CSM Douglas Eugene Arnold, USA VN, KL
SGT Charles E. Kovalin, USA, VN
LTJG Richard Zitzmann, USN WWII
CPL Paul J. Turnbull, USMC VN
EN2 Irvin Hein, USN Korea
CPL David I Clough, USA CMC
SGT Ralph Ramirez, USA
CAPT Richard L. Ruggles, USA WWII
SP5 Richard E Shelton, USA VN
MSGT Walter T. Hudson, USA Korea, VN
CAPT Ralph W. Brower, USAF VN, Killed in Action
CAPT James R. Shively, USAF VN, Prisoner of War
PVT Albert E Brun, USA Korea
SSGT John A Soletti, Sr., USA WWII
SGT William C. "Pops" Hetherington, USAAC WWII
A1C Charles R. Tucker, USAF VN
CAPT Julian Alex Wheless, USA WWII
FTM2 Lonnie E. Johnson, USN VN
MSGT George C. Whitmer, Jr., USA Korea, VN
CPL Frank F. Leonetti, USA WWII
CPL Woodrow McDonald, USA WWII
SGT Daily McDonald, USA WWII
SGT Harold E. Mann, USMC WWI
GM3 Jay Philip McCracken, USN WWII
LTGEN Harvey H. Fischer, USA WWII, Korea, VN
SC2 Marvin A Wangler, USN WWII
MM1 Fredrick C. Kenney, USN VN
CM2 Andrew B. Van Hooser, USN WWII
FM Preston White Gray BRMM, USCG, USMM WWII, Korea
CPL Robert E. Cook, USAAC WWII
SGT Lewis J. Cook, USAVC WWI
SGT George Ojala, USAF VN