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Elk Grove Citizen

Memorial Recalls Heroes

Jun 01, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story and photo by Susan Maxwell Skinner

Veterans Day observances at Carmichael Vietnam Memorial united survivors of Korean, Vietnam and Middle Eastern conflicts.

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CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - Carmichael’s Vietnam Memorial was last weekend central to Memorial Day remembrances. Flags, music and memories were shared by more than 150 visitors.

The first-known California monument commemorating the Vietnam War stands in Koobs Nature Area on Engle Road. The site honors 15 La Sierra High School graduates who fell in service from 1967 to 1970.

Among elected representatives attending were Supervisor Rich Desmond and retired Assemblyman Ken Cooley. Purple Heart recipient and Iraq War veteran Matt Ceccato urged attendees to recognize the US flag as “a symbol that urges us to be better today than we were yesterday.”

Ceccato – who represents Congressman Ami Bera – also honored attending Gold Star families. “I can’t express how much your loss means to all of us,” he said. “Through your sacrifice, we are all better off.”

To visitors, he urged: “take a minute – as soon as possible – to thank a veteran or a Gold Star Family.”

A bell chime punctuated names of La Sierra alumni who inspired students and faculty to raise a monument honoring their shortened lives.

Rock singer Todd Morgan performed “This Land is My Land” and Eagle Scout Edward Stach offered a solo trumpet rendition of Taps.

Heroes named on the monument are: Robert D. Anderson, Mark W. Burchard, Robert S. Byrnes, Jerry Cowsert, Kenneth R. Escott, Gary R. Field, Herbert Frenzell, Frank Thornburg, Ralph Guarienti, Larry H. Morford, Thomas C. Pigg, Randall B. Rainville, Kim Richins, Jeffry Tharaldson, Robert A. Willis.

Earl J. Koobs Nature Area is open to visitors. For information, go to or visit the Koobs Nature Area site on Facebook.