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Independent Voice

Heartfelt Patriotism in Dixon

May 30, 2024 03:44PM ● By Debra Dingman

Veterans salute at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Silveyville Cemetery portion of Memorial Day Services. Photo by Debra Dingman

There are always interesting stories when it comes to Memorial Day, not to mention an opportunity to meet new local people.

We attended the Memorial Day services at Silveyville Cemetery which is meaningful yet brief. I noted many of the same familiar faces that attend each year and I thought of who might attend in future years.  Will we run out of patriotism in my lifetime?

Hubby reminded me that we will, in fact, stop having the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of World War II from living veterans.

But even so, I thought as I listened to my sweet, 80-plus friend, there are descendants who will tell the story of family members.

For example, she shared that one of the men’s names on the plaque at the Dixon Women’s Improvement Club Park is one of her relatives. The plaque lists those soldiers from Dixon who died in wars.

“My uncle on my mother’s side, Robert Keith Revelle, died in World War II,” my friend explained.  “It was sad because the family came out from Kansas for work and my uncle was drafted and went off to serve in the Army.

Due to a family crisis, he was called home and after grieving that loss, returned to the war front but tragically, was killed after only three months.  No wonder she could remember:  A family experienced broken hearts twice!

I hope next year, there will be more people who attend the local gatherings and experience the heartfelt loyalty to our country. The traditions of playing Taps, raising and lowering the flag, and gathering in solemn prayers are meaningful and memorable.

Most of the veterans, guests, families, and Veteran Motorcycle Riders who were present at Silveyville and then at the park, followed over to the Veterans Memorial Hall and enjoyed a lunch together where my hubby and I got to continue visiting with Art and Georgina Perez, who have lived here for many years.  It was difficult for him to talk about his service in the Vietnam War. That was the war my uncle served in as well so I understood and empathized. But it was also delightful to visit with other Dixonites and share some laughter about our town’s history.

 To wrap up the Memorial Day weekend, I got to visit with veterans Cecil Dunnings and Dean Manley outside Safeway where Poppy sales were going on. They used to be made exclusively by disabled vets but then Covid hit, and the demand could no longer be met. (The Dixon veterans alone ordered 4,000!) Thus, the new metal version that one could clip onto their shirt or blouse. I thought they were more attractive and easy to proudly wear.

Cecil reminded me that the veterans do “poppy fundraisers” three times a year (Memorial Day, Grillin’ & Chillin’ in downtown Dixon, and Veteran’s Day). All proceeds go to help disabled veterans. Can you believe that they sell close to a thousand each day that they are out there? Their booths are outside each entrance and any donation gets you a poppy. 

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