Peace Pole for Fallen Soldier
On Monday, August 11th, the memory of Ruben ‘Boy’ Lopez was honored at the California State Capital with a Peace Pole installed in his name.
After meeting California Governor Jerry Brown during Williams Pioneer Day, Lopez’s mother Gloria Estrada asked the Governor ‘why there wasn’t a peace pole at the state capital’. Those words set into action a dedication ceremony that was held on the third year anniversary of Lopez’s death.
Born and raised in Williams, Ruben ‘Boy” Lopez had a deep military background, and wanted to pursue a carer in law enforcement.
In August of 2010, Lopez courageously joined the U.S. Army. Just one year later, he lost his life after sustaining severe injuries when a improvised explosive device detonated near his cargo truck.
“We all miss Boy dearly,” said his sister Monica Palmer, “but events like this help us carry on his name in such a positive way.”
Located in Sacramento’s Capital Park on the East Steps, the Capital Peace Pole features the universal message “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” in twelve languages.
The Capital Peace Pole marks the eighth peace pole installed in Lopez’s name.
“It brings me great joy that so many people came out to honor Boy,” said his sister Letti Lopez-Caldwell.
Dozens of spectators witnessed the event as many traveled from Colusa County, while others took part in honoring the memory of a fallen soldier.
The Peace Pole Ceremony was lead by Fumi Steward from the World Peace Society with a World Flag Ceremony, U.S. Army Captain, Renee Marie dedicated the Peace Pole.
Lopez’s sister, Renee read his last letter home.
“As difficult as August 11th is for us, events like this help comfort and heal our family,” said his sister, Renee Silva, “It gave me such pride to read my brother’s letter.”
California Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva presented Lopez’s family with a resolution from the California State Assembly.
“We are all just so proud of Boy,” said his sister Raquel Lopez.
Community Raises Money for Wounded Warriors Home
At their regular meeting on Monday, August 25, 2014, the Citizens for a Better Williams presented a check in the amount of $10,840 to the Homes for Our Troops organization from its recent fundraising activity for the home SSG Alex Jauregui.
Jauregui is a 2003 Williams High School Graduate, serving two tours in Afghanistan with the United States Army.
On April 8, 2012, Jauregui lost both legs, hearing in both ears, and suffered extensive injuries to his right hand and forearm after stepping on an improvised explosive device in Sangsar, Afghanistan.
While recovering from his injuries, Jauregui learned of the organization Homes for our Troops.
Homes for our Troops is a nonprofit organization that is committed to helping those who have selflessly given to our country and have returned home with serious injuries since September 11, 2001. The Organization provides assistance to the injured veterans by raising donations, building materials and professional labor to coordinate the process of building a home specially adapted to provide maximum freedom to live more independently.
After hearing the news of Jauregui being the recipient of a new home, the Friends of Alejandro Jauregui approached the Citizens for a Better Williams seeking assistance to help with a fundraiser.
On Thursday, July 31, the Citizens for a Better Williams hosted a special fundraising concert in the park event that followed, an afternoon of helicopter rides; 100% of the proceeds to benefited the Homes for our Troops, the Alex Jauregui home.
Combined with the two events, and other monetary donations the organization raised $10,840.
On Saturday, August 23, 2014 a special groundbreaking ceremony was held for the construction of Jauregui’s home in Woodland, California.
Hundreds from around the state attended the event.
In addition to the donation from the Citizens for a Better Williams, the Illuminati Motorcycle Club California Chapter donated $10,000, and several other donations were made that day. “Our little community should be very proud,” said Citizens for a Better Williams President, Andi Armstrong, “This was a major accomplishment in showing our support for our veterans.”
Veterans BBQ Continued Success
Each Year the Maxwell American Legion Post 218 and the Colusa Veterans of Foreign Wars No. 2441 host its annual BBQ as part of a fundraiser and a gathering of local veterans and community members.
“We had a large turnout,” said Colusa County Assistant Veteran Services Officer, Don Parsons.
The funds raised during the BBQ are used to help the veterans of Colusa County and to fill the individual needs of our veterans.
This year the group agreed to donate the proceeds to SSG Alex Jauregui said Bill Tanner the Veterans BBQ Organizer.
Repetitiveness from the two organizations, Gene Tanner, Dennis Sanders, Bill Tanner and Don Parsons presented Alex with a $2,000 check at the Monday meeting of the Citizens for a Better Williams.
At the BBQ, several veterans who have passed with the last year were remembered. Those individuals included: Harold Peterson, Tom Aldrich, Tony Costa, Joe Nunez, Gary Bowen, Gene Pinto, Jim Reading, Jim Rodgers, and Robert Silvira.
This year the Veterans BBQ was held on July 26, 2014, and featured a BBQ Rib Lunch and Raffle Prizes.
Colusa Veterans Wall in Memorial Park
The Colusa VFW has recently placed its first order of engraved bricks and expects to begin construction sometime in September, said Colusa VFW Post No. 2441 Commander, Dennis Sanders.
The group hopes to host a dedication ceremony during Veterans Day on November 11, 2014.
Sanders said that brick orders are still available; however the bricks will be manufactured annually and installed each Veterans Day into the future.
To honor a Veteran with a Tribute Brick, contact Dennis Sanders at (530) 913-5017 or Chaz Franklin at (530) 635-0746.