Wintry temperatures and a whipping wind moved this year’s Veterans Day ceremony indoors, into the warm and sheltered space of the Center Gym. Army Captain Barry Josephs again organized the event, and served as master of ceremonies.
He thanked all those who contributed to make the event possible and keep alive the tradition of honoring all those who served. Among them was Michael Soufrine who sponsored and presented a wreath in memory of his son Eric; also town hall employees, the police honor guard and Anthony Forto, a custodian of town buildings, who led with emotion in the singing of the national anthem as well as other patriotic songs. Reverend Shepard Parsons, pastor at First Church of Christ, offered the invocation and benediction.
Capt. Josephs remembered those who have passed away this year, namely Charles McCowan, a Korean conflict veteran, and Robert E. Martin, who had served with Special Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
State Rep. Themis Klarides in her remarks marked the 100th anniversary of the United States entering the first World War in 1917. At the time, it was thought to be the “war to end all wars,” she said, but that was not to be and many have served since then. She encouraged people to not walk by when veterans are asking for contributions. “Say thank you,” she said.
First Selectman Beth Heller also touched on that anniversary, saying that World War I was begun in hope for lasting peace. “I hope that our children will get us there, “ she added.
By Bettina Thiel – Woodbridge Town News Correspondent
- The police honor guard includes, from left, Sgt. Ed Thomas, Sgt. AJ Cappiello, Officer Vinny Lynch, Officer Brian Pedalino and Sgt. R.J. Scott
- Michael Soufrine lays a wreath as part of the Veterans Day ceremony
- Robbie Scott and his mom Meagan Scott join in the reading of “In Flanders Field”. Robbie is the son of Police Sergeant R.J. Scott.
- Ed Bukowski, a World War II Marine veteran who now resides at Coachman Square senior living facility, attended with Coachman’s program director Deborah Meehan. He, along with a handful of other veterans in the audience, were honored at the town’s Veterans Day ceremony.