Merced Sun-Star staff
MERCED The 2013 Merced County Fair kicked off Wednesday night with a flag-raising ceremony and a tribute to the men and women who have served our country.
The theme of the 122nd annual fair, which runs through Sunday, is "Thank You Veterans." It was an idea submitted by Merced resident Jeanette Muratore, 72, who served as a nurse in the Air Force for two years.
"It's very fitting that we honor our vets," Muratore said at Wednesday's opening ceremony. "We've done a lot for our country, whether on foreign lands or at home."
Tony Soria, 90, a Navy veteran who served in World War II, keeps a photo of two fallen service members near his heart, pinned to the left side of his uniform.
Soria said the two men served with him and were Merced natives.
"Sometimes, day to day, we don't think of them," Soria said. "But we've got to remember them.""
The fair continues today, with the gates open to the public at 5 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, the gates open at 3 p.m.