Marchers walk to honor veterans
Appeal-Democrat, Marysville, Calif.
He went from each miniature American flag to the next, making sure that the attached photo and name were clearly visible so that the more than 700 fallen California military members could be honored.
Donald Ferguson, 52, of Live Oak also knelt and prayed next to the American flags planted in the grass and lining the sidewalks at Sutter County Veterans Memorial, where U.S. Army Spc. Chase Stone Marta was remembered Saturday.
Nearly 200 people turned out to pay respect to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. military during the inaugural Veterans Memorial Walk from Marysville to Yuba City.
Marta, 24, of Yuba City, who was killed by a roadside bomb in May 2012 while serving in Afghanistan, was being recognized.
Marta's name, which was engraved into Sutter County Veterans Memorial, was revealed by his mother, Karyn Stone, at the conclusion of the ceremony.
"Chase was a great kid, and yes, I will love him forever," Stone said.
Marta was born and raised in Yuba City and graduated from Yuba City High School in 2006.
Carrying photos of active duty military personnel as well as those who have died in the line of duty, more than 100 people walked the 3-mile route from Yuba County Memorial Park in Marysville to Sutter County Veterans Memorial in Yuba City.
One of those making the walk was Loretta Glass of Yuba City, who was holding a picture of a son, who is serving as a medic in the U.S. Air Force.
Glass, who is a member of the Tri-Counties Blue Star Moms, also has a son serving in the U.S. Marine Corps.
"Army Specialist Chase Marta gave all," said Ron Brasier, pastor of Hands of Hope Ministries before the opening prayer of the ceremony. "He is a true hero."
Sutter County Supervisor Jim Whiteaker agreed and said, "We owe a debt of gratitude we can never repay."
Assemblyman Dan Logue, R-Loma Rica, said the memorial was built 14 years ago to remember the sacrifices like those made by Marta.
"I never met Chase Marta, but he gave his life for me," Logue said. "We need to honor the soldiers that have given the ultimate sacrifice."
Charles Ford, 48, of Yuba City, event coordinator and founder of Yuba-Sutter Volunteers, said he hopes to make this an annual event.
"It turned out great," Ford said.
The $5 fee to participate in the walk goes into the Yuba-Sutter Veterans Memorial maintenance fund.