MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) — Memorial Day ceremonies are happening all weekend, and the rain didn’t stop one of them from being held in Middletown Saturday morning.
More than 12,000 veterans were honored at the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown with a flag near their gravesite, placed by the local veteran community.
On Saturday, 15-year-old Leah Walton and her family were part of the more than 100 people that grabbed piles of flags and one-by-one read the names on each stone.
Now the American flag flies nearby.
“I think it’s good for people to know the reason why we have Memorial Day because I know a lot of people my age just see it as a day off of school so I think it’s good that people educate themselves on what Memorial Day is really about,” Walton said.
Leah, along with other loved ones, joined their grandfather Richard Adams, a Marine Corp veteran who served from 1959 to 1963.
For him, Saturday was about honoring those who came before him, like his brother-in-law who’s buried at the Middletown cemetery, a place where Richard also hopes to rest one day.
“You have to honor these veterans. These veterans gave up a lot. Like they say, freedom isn’t free and there is our proof right here, buried here. We have to honor these people. They need to be honored,” Adams said.
For Gerald Veronesi, who served in the Marines from 1959 to 1965, this weekend is about his veteran dad who’s also resting there.
“He was Italian. We had a lot of good times together. I sure miss him,” he said.
When he visits the cemetery, Veronesi said he recalls great memories with his dad, on top of remembering the sacrifice he paid.
“I really don’t think it should be just this Memorial Day weekend; I think they should be honored constantly. Do something for a vet. That’s the way I feel,” Veronesi said.
From the Coast Guard, to other family and friends of veterans who came, no matter the weather, Saturday was one way of giving thanks to the nation’s heroes.
“Thank you for all your service and helping our country,” Walton said.
The flags will be removed next weekend. Anyone is welcome to help out on June 5 at 9 a.m.
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