MONROE, CT — Veterans and public officials participated in the Memorial Day Ceremony: “Honoring Our Heroes” Past and Present before a crowd at the War Memorial in front of Monroe Town Hall Sunday.
“Today is such a beautiful and energizing day,” First Selectman Ken Kellogg said from the podium, “beautiful weather for the return of the Memorial Day Parade here in Monroe. This is why we come together today, to honor those in our armed forces that gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country — for our freedoms.”
The first selectman spoke of the many freedoms Americans enjoy, from freedom of speech and freedom of the press to religious freedom.
“Freedoms such as these come at a cost and that cost is immeasurable,” Kellogg said. “We’re here today to commemorate and honor the lives of those who fought for those freedoms, who protected those freedoms, and in doing so, gave their lives for our country, for us. Let’s honor their lives by expressing our gratitude to all our veterans and those who continue to serve our nation.”
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, noted how many people were spending their Sundays at the mall and at barbecues.
“There’s nothing wrong with that,” Blumenthal said, “but the town of Monroe is showing us what’s really important about this day, what’s really important about being an American, and what’s really important about America, which is we appreciate people who served and sacrificed.”
The senator spoke the importance of caring for our veterans who come home with injuries, and of how the people of Ukraine are now fighting against a Russian invasion to defend the very freedoms Americans enjoy.
“To all the families, all the veterans and all who have relatives who have given their lives, thank you for being here today,” Blumenthal said. “God bless you and God bless our great country.”
State Rep. Tony Scott, R-112th, shared the story of a woman he had worked with, whose family became a Gold Star family when she lost her brother in 2006, the day after Christmas.
While honoring the sacrifices of the heroic men and women in our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, Scott asked everyone to keep the Gold Star families in mind, who must deal with the anguish and sorrow that comes with their loss.
“Thank you for our heroes here today,” Scott said.
On Sunday, the town honored veteran, Victor Yanosy, commander of the American Legion’s Sippin-Winspur Post 176.
Yanosy, of Monroe, served in the Navy as an Aerographers Mate 2nd Class (weatherman), and was a Master Sergeant in the Army Reserve. His active duty in the Navy was from 1967-1971; and his duty in the Army Reserve was from 1973 to 1996 — spanning over 25 years of service to his country.
L. David York was the master of ceremonies. He gave the Invocation at the beginning of the ceremony and the Benediction at the end.
Audrey Lesko, a Masuk High School sophomore, sang the “National Anthem” and “America the Beautiful.”
There was a presentation of wreathes and the American flag on the pole in front of Town Hall was lowered to half-staff as “Taps” was played by Masuk trumpeters Mila Planas and Andrew Babson.
The Connecticut Military Department Honor Guard and American Legion Post 16 of Shelton’s Color Guard participated in the ceremony.