Veterans honored at Windsor Locks Senior Center
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Nov. 20, 2013
A group of about 50 veterans attended a Veterans Appreciation Day at the Windsor Locks Senior Center on Nov. 14. They shared stories of wartime adventures and humbly accepted praises from others. They wore hats announcing the war years that they had seen and recalled old friends and memories.
These men, and some women, were asked to attend this luncheon to be honored. Each was requested to state their name, rank and branch of the military in which they served. Soldiers, sailors, pilots, machinists, mechanists and others that served in World War II, the Korean conflict, the Vietnam War, and Iraq and Afghanistan came in, each greeted by the applause of their peers.
A nice surprise for everyone was the 20 soldiers, presently serving, who arrived from the local base just to encourage and thank those who have served before them. “We just came to show our support,” said Specialist Jayc Davis.
"This center is proud to honor our area veterans,” said Senior Center Director Ann Marie Claffey. “This event at the center is just a small way of saying thank you for all they have done.”
“On a personal note, this program is one of my most important events of the year, because of my father, Albert P. Fiocchetta, who served his country proudly in the U.S. Navy for 20 years," added Claffey.
There was a tremendous feeling of respect and gratitude in the room. Many of these men, now older and affected physically by the ensuing years, played important roles in maintaining the freedom we enjoy today. Perhaps it was the man who served in the U.S. Navy or fought in the Battle of the Bulge, or the soldier who was in charge of sending thousands of his fellow men home after the end of World War II. Maybe it was the female Marine who was wearing the hat she had been issued in the 1940s, or the soldier who protected America by landing on Guadalcanal.
No matter the war, no matter the story, each person was thanked and honored for their time served.
Before the meal was served, Wyatt Cannon, a Windsor Locks Middle School student, presented a song to the veterans. “Remember When” was a song that Cannon wrote for a school assignment, “when I was in fifth grade and we were doing a Veterans Day assembly,” he said.
Once all the soldiers were sat on stage, everyone in the room said the “Pledge of Allegiance,” and they saluted the flag. One could instantly imagine each one of them, in earlier years, in uniform, saluting their flag when they were still serving.
“Veterans Day gives us the opportunity to extend our gratitude and appreciation for the sacrifices these men and women made for our freedoms,” said Claffey.