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Veterans Day parade ends with ceremony at Manchester Memorial Hospital

Journal Inquirer - 11/12/2021

Nov. 12—MANCHESTER — At least 100 people gathered Thursday outside Manchester Memorial Hospital to celebrate Veterans Day, following a short parade from the American Legion Post 102.

Robert Venti, president of the Manchester Veterans Council, welcomed attendees to the ceremony and thanked them for taking time out of their busy schedules to honor veterans.

Eastern Connecticut Health Network CEO Deborah Weymouth reminded visitors that the hospital was built to honor World War I veterans in 1920, and has become a monument to the devotion and bravery of all veterans.

"We thank each and every veteran for their courage and steadfast heroism in serving our country," Weymouth said.

"We gather annually at this 11th hour, in the 11th month, on the 11th day, to honor and say two words to our veterans that are here today and across our country — thank you," Mayor Jay Moran said.

Moran recalled a trip he made to Washington, D.C., years ago, and a stop at a military hospital nearby in Maryland, where he saw the sacrifice that the country's young men and women and their families have made.

"I hope those who have a day off today, or don't have to go to school, or think there's a big sale at the mall because of Veterans Day take the time like everyone here to remember what this day is about, to thank those who've protected our freedoms over the years," Moran said.

Sen. Stephen T. Cassano, D-Manchester, remembered how the town used to have a small section of its cemetery reserved for veterans. That section was filled, and now the new section is filling up as well, showing just how many people are lost and families affected.

"I remember my dad came home from WWII. I didn't know my father. I was about 4 years old when he got home. And he wasn't home long and he had to go back to the Korean War," Cassano said. "You take these things for granted, and yet the service that's given is immeasurable."

U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, said the U.S. is the greatest nation in the history of mankind, "largely due to the sacrifice and the effort of the men and women who chose to wear the uniform and serve their country."

There's a lot of work happening in congress, none more important than making sure we not only pause twice a year, but every day, to thank the veterans who make freedom and liberties possible, Larson said.

Veterans as a group have "played a significant role in shaping America's past, present, and undoubtedly our future," speaker Craig Jordan, veterans coordinator for Goodwin College, said.

"Mission after mission after mission, the United States armed forces have stood tall and done everything they've been asked to do," Jordan said.

Visiting young veterans today, Jordan said he is amazed by their strength, going on multiple tours, and dealing with the separation from their families, and other issues when they return.

"It's a reminder on Veterans Day that each and every day of the year as we move forward, that we continue to work and continue to think of them, and to assist them along the way in their journey," Jordan said.

For breaking news and happenings in North Central Connecticut, follow Matthew Knox on Twitter: @MatthewPKnoxJI, and Facebook: Matthew P. Knox JI.


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