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Yuba City Church Prepares Annual Memorial Day Displays, Ceremonies

YUBA CITY -- On Monday, Vietnam veteran Gaylon McBride was recreating the bunker he lived in while serving overseas.

"This is where you slept for a year. You had a poncho cover and that was it," he said. "This, of course, was our boom box. This thing roared night and day."

McBride volunteered hours of his time to put a seal of authenticity on a display at Cavalry Christian Center in Yuba City.

"This was the refuge. This was where you got your mail. This was where you fell asleep. This was where you got drunk. This was home for a year. So I just want them to see the prices that were paid for the freedoms they enjoy," he said.

The bunker is one of several demonstrations for the church's annual Memorial Day ceremonies.

"We have an authentic replica of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We have six panels of the Vietnam Memorial," Pastor Michael Ciociola said. "We have an Afghani medivac hospital and a reenactment going on there."

Outside, on the church grounds, stands 21 panels with nearly 7,911 names representing every soldier who has died during the War on Terror.

"It's important to remember that these are human beings, just like us, who put their life on the line to keep us free," Ciociola said.

It's a reminder that Memorial Day is more than just a three-day weekend.

"To take some time, express thanks, appreciation," Ciociola said. "It means so much to those folks to know we care about them because they care so much for us."

And while people across the country will remember the men and women who lost their lives in the line of duty, some will simply be remembering their friends.

"I was one of the fortunate ones but so many that bunked in my area did not come back," McBride said.

Cavalry Christian Church is hosting its annual services this Sunday at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and on Monday at noon. The outdoor Freedom Heroes Memorial is open to the public from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. through May 28.