"We honor their service, mourn their loss and remember the families they left behind", he said.
Often (and I'm guilty, too), we get caught up in everyday events and tend to forget the generations before us who have fallen on the battlefields someplace in the world.
Town Councilwoman Denise Hall, who is the treasurer of the West Hartford Veterans Memorial Fund, announced that the memorial group, as an honor to Van Winkle, would soon be putting in a marker at the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial that alerts visitors to the "sacred ground" at the center of the memorial.
Due to the amount, it is now divided into three sections including bricks dedicated exclusively to those who served in World War I, veterans of any military service, and bricks that honor civilian friends, family or organizations.
More than 100 people attended the annual Memorial Day ceremony at the town hall Monday morning.
After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded to honor all Americans who died in war and, in 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday by an act of Congress and placed on the last Monday in May.More news: French Open 2017: Granollers wonder shot gets a high-five from Djokovic
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The parade is organized by the American Legion Post 758 and is a long running tradition in the village.
"We must rededicate ourselves to honoring the legacy of our nation's fallen by educating all who believe Memorial Day is just another holiday and by passing our knowledge along to the next generation so they may do the same", he said. "Plus", he said, "I love to ride motorcycles".
He said 18 of the 58,300 American soldiers who died in Vietnam were from West Hartford. It was originally called Decoration Day, because people would put flowers on the graves of fallen servicemen.
Memorial Day is not about the barbecue at the beach, although that's great. "We are here whether it's a time of war or a time of peace", said French, looking to the Honor Guard, prepared for their solute.
Looking around, Hawkins said, "We probably have all lost someone".