Connecticut’s State Veterans Cemetery was transformed into a sea of red, white, and blue Saturday with the help of hundreds of volunteers. Hundreds of men, women, and children lined up, each more than willing to give up part of their Saturday morning to honor those who gave their lives for our country.
“It’s very important because we owe our freedoms to the men and women who signed a blank check and laid down their lives in defense our country,” explained Capt Joseph Sanborn, Civil Air Patrol.
The annual tradition of placing American flags on the veterans’ graves for Memorial Day depends on volunteers. This year, about 200 people took part.
“To show honor to the veterans that are no longer with us,” said Mike Rogalski, Veterans of the Vietnam War, Middletown, Inc.
In less than 30 minutes each one of the more than 10,000 graves at the cemetery were decorated.
“My grandfather’s buried here so we just want to come out and do our part,” said Brian Checko, Middletown.
Corporal Raymond Spooner served with the Army in Germany during World War II. Now, his grandson is making sure his own children understand the price some paid for their freedom.
“To respect all the people who sacrificed and served. Explain to them that it’s just not about parades, and fireworks, and fire trucks coming down the street. That there’s a real cause for Memorial Day that we support,” Checko explained.
Other parents brought their older children in the hopes of passing on another important lesson about service and sacrifice.
“It’s important that this younger generation remember those who serve and think about that in their future as something that they want to do. It’s really important that we continue to have young men and women that want to serve our country and that want to help everybody enjoy the freedoms that they have,” said Rachel Sanborn, West Hartford.
“It means remembering that fallen veteran that served our country,” said her 11-year-old son Noah.
It’s a lesson his parents hope he remembers not just on Memorial Day, but every day of the year.