Memorial Day Observered

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Monday, May 29, provided good weather to celebrate Memorial Day this year, with the usual parade coming up Mountain Road, turning onto North Main Street and looping around behind the library to reassemble on Veterans Park for the traditional presentations.

The Suffield High School band, Town and organization officials, veterans in uniform and some in civvies, along with children and family representatives of many town organizations, all gathered in Veterans Park by the Veterans Memorial, and hundreds of interested citizens situated themselves on the lawn alongside. Some said it was the largest crowd they had ever for the yearly event. And as the ceremony began, an Air Force Reserve Hercules transport flew prominently across the crowd.

Lt. Col, William Moryto, USMC, Ret., Officer of the Day, called for the massing of the colors, and a group of Boy Scouts from Troop 260 and 262 responded with the American flag; flags of other groups were included. The scouts led everyone in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

First Selectman Colin Moll then opened the program with his Memorial Day address. Last year he had spoken of Sacrifice. This year he emphasized Freedom and our Fundamental Rights. He said we must fight to preserve those rights.

Gunnery Sergeant Frederick “Fritz” King, USMC, Ret. offered a Memorial Day Prayer.

Then SHS senior Katherine DiStefano read the traditional Memorial Day poem, “In Flanders Field.” SHS junior Andrew Bombard read the “Confession of National Faith”, and Daniel Gleason delivered Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, widely regarded as the best of that type of address.

Lt. Col, Moryto followed with an explanation of the small, round table that sat on the path between the flagpole and the Veterans Memorial throughout the ceremony. He listed the elements of the single, empty setting, from the white tablecloth to the single red rose in the vase, and how they represented various aspects of the Missing in Action and Prisoner of War service outcome of the person who might have sat there. Programmed following his explanation of this sad subject was SHS senior Sophia Collins, singing Amazing Grace.

Three students of McAlister Intermediate School: Jamie Thompson, Gianni DeLucco, and Cameron McDonald, in turn, read Suffield’s Roll Call of the Fallen: the names of all those on the Suffield Veterans Memorial who died in support of their country. (They are marked on the Memorial with a cast or engraved star.) The impressive list was followed by First Selectman Moll and Lt. Col Moryto placing a wreath on the Veterans Memorial.

The VFW Honor Guard then fired their Salute to the Dead; Cory Killian played Taps. and a distant echo followed. SHS senior Katherine DiStefano sang The Star Spangled Banner, and Lt. Col Moryto closed this significant program.

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