SOUTHINGTON -Southingtonâ€™s 2019 Memorial Day parade and ceremony on Monday reminded the community to consider honoring past, current and future veterans throughout the year, not just today on Memorial Day.
The townâ€™s Memorial Day parade was followed by a service. Presentation of the colors, prayers and words of inspiration to remember those who have given their lives while serving the country were part of the highlight of the day.
American Legion Chaplin Hank Lucas led the opening and closing prayers of the event.
During the ceremony, Melvin Emond and police dog Kira, were recognized as the American Legion police officer of the year.
Steve McCarthy served as the master of ceremony at the 2019 Southington Memorial Day parade.
â€śIn a few months, 100 years ago, the guns would go silent, 75 years ago, democracy was saved and 50 years ago, communism was blunted,â€ť McCarthy said. â€śIn each era, young men and women stepped forward, raised their right hand and took on a task our country deemed necessary. Some would not come home. Thirty three young men of Southington paid the ultimate price in World War II. Thirty three families of Southington mourned the loss of a son. Thirty four times the Town Hall flag was lowered to half staff and draped itself in sorrow. The 34th time was for President Franklin Roosevelt.â€ť
In front of the American Legionâ€™s building, where the ceremony took place, there was a white cross as a symbol of honor and memory of those who died in service.
Town council members took part in the ceremony including Victoria Triano, William Dziedzic, Tom Lombardi, Michael Riccio, Dawn Miceli, Chris Palmieri, along with town clerk Kathy Larkin, town manager Mark Sciota and state Rep. John Fusco.
Chris Palmieri, chair of Southingtonâ€™s town council, thanked Southingtonâ€™s past, current and future service men.
Palmieri spoke about the many ways in which Southington honors veterans throughout the year.
â€śI am proud that our town leads by example,â€ť Palmieri said. â€śThe most obvious example, honoring our veterans is seen daily through the work of our veterans committee. We have also proudly honored veterans at various town council meetings and honor looking at our beautiful memorials located here in the town green as well. Skip to the present, our wall of honor, located right in the main entrance of town hall, honors current Southington residents that are actively serving in one of the branches of our military. Finally the future, each year, our school system holds a military luncheon as a way to recognize, honor and send our best wishes to graduating Southington High School seniors that have chosen to serve their country in one of the branches of their military. â€ť
Palmieri also read the 2017 poem â€śWe Honor You Today.â€ť
Heather Cat and her son, Zachary, were on board at Southingtonâ€™s Memorial Day ceremony. She said she has been attending the Southington Memorial Day events for years and said she enjoyed the feel of community in this yearâ€™s ceremony.
â€śThe camaraderie and just the feel of community is more present this year than in years past,â€ť Cat said. â€śItâ€™s just the support of the community that really brings us all together.â€ť
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or firstname.lastname@example.org.