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Memorial Day: Vets Honored During Reception

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By Cindy Watson –

A Memorial weekend meet and greet artist reception was held last Saturday, for Veterans who served from WWII to the Vietnam War era. The gallery was full of well wishers viewing the exhibit that will remain on display through July 10.

During the receiption Mayor Bob Botts presented the Milford Zorne estate and eight other local, exhibiting Veterans, letters of commendation at the event.

These are presented with much "appreciation for their artistic endeavors" and for their "very appreciated service to our country," he said.

Veterans were further honored as Karen Clavelot, Alliance president announced that the Laura May Stewart foundation has awarded the Alliance with a grant to help make the long sought after Veteran's Memorial wall a reality. The wall dedication is expected to take place on Veteran's Day, November 2010," she said. The historic Banning Woman's Club will house the new wall in it's sculpture garden, according to Clavelot.

"It is very nice," said Vietnam veteran Don Roth. " The wall will be a nice addition to our already proud city," he continued. Roth remised that he did not serve in a popular war. "It is nice to be remember," he said about his service. "Viet Nam vets were not treated with hero welcomes," he recalled about the unpopular war.

Roth, his artwork and the artwork of the other veterans is a welcome sight at the BCA Veteran's Art exhibit.

The exhibit features renowned artist Milford Zornes a World War II, official war artist in the China, India, Burma theater and David Fairrington who served as an "Army Combat Artist" for the Dept. of the Army in Vietnam.

Other artists include Jim Intravia, Army, who served with occupied forces in Japan; Buddy Hawkins served in the Air force both at home and in Germany; Dennis Armatis, who served in Okinawa Japan, at the end of Vietnam war with the Marine Corps. and Vietnam, Cavalry Aeroscout, Martin Contreras, who received two medals of valor, the Navy's Don Roth, who served in Viet Nam and Stan Mosberg, who served in the US Army,1st Ranger Battalion as a radio operator.

"It is great to see our Veterans in the spotlight and receiving such honors," said Ann Nelsen, who stopped by the gallery to see the exhibit.

"Their artwork has such detail" said 16 year ol Roy Limon, who marveled at the realism of some of the exhibitors artwork.

Dianne Verdugo of Hemet, also has an exhibit of wartime memorabilia at the gallery. "I started collecting when my brother went to Viet Nam she said, "to honor all those who served, she continued. The part of her collection on display includes figurines MIA/POW bracelets, battle pins, medals and more.

The Banning Center for the Arts is open, Wednesday through Saturday,10 a.m. to 4p.m.;130 N San Gorgonio Avenue, Downtown Banning. The gallery number is 951-849-3993

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