Previous first selectman Melissa Mack created the Veterans Committee, among whose tasks was to seek out additional names that might appropriately be added to the limited space available on the Suffield Veterans Memorial. That monument, dedicated in 2004, was planned, designed, and erected by a committee headed by former first selectman Paul Kulas.
A number of proposed names have now been evaluated by a new group, the Veterans Memorial Expansion Committee, established by present First Selectman Colin Moll and chaired by David Gauthier. They have determined that six of the veterans’ names were appropriate for the monument. In keeping with the criteria defined by the earlier committee, these veterans, all still living but one, entered service as residents of Suffield and served during the wars named on the monument. These names were engraved on the 2004 memorial on October 21.
Serving during the Vietnam War:
FITCH, FREDERICK L.
TOOMEY, JOHN B.
A star was engraved next to the name of Frederick Fitch, as he was reported to have died years after the war from the effects of Agent Orange, the hazardous herbicide spread by Allied forces to diminish opportunities for the enemy to hide.
Serving during the Persian Gulf War:
McCORMACK, JAMES A.
THOMPSON, ALAN E.
The Vietnam names were engraved in the space remaining for that war. But there was only one space left in the last column for the Persian Gulf. The first of those names received, McCormack’s, was engraved there. Thomson’s name was engraved in the margin below McCormack. There is now no more space properly available in any of the monument’s five faces except in the margins.
In his remarks during the Veterans Day ceremony on November 11, First Selectman Moll spoke of these newly honored veterans and offered his thanks for their service.