Walking through the State’s Veteran Cemetery in Middletown, there is a sense of honor, bravery and sacrifice. Thousands of veterans have been laid to rest there. Another eight names were added Friday, but for a period, they had all been forgotten.
In a solemn ceremony this morning, veterans Victor Herbert Anderson, Orville K. Davis, Stephen Yoder, Joseph P. Galipeau, Lawrence W. Jordan, Bernard Joseph Lafleur, George Dalton Parker, and Lawrence Earl Tefft were memorialized. The cremated remains were later laid to rest in the cemetery’s columbarium.
No veteran will be forgotten: that was the message as the Connecticut Veterans Affairs Department gave the men a full military funeral.
“We bring these individuals here, to ensure they are forgotten no longer. That is our mission,” said Thomas Saadi, CT Department of Veterans Affairs commissioner.
Each was remembered Friday. First with a prayer service at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Rocky Hill. Then, a motorcycle escort led a procession to the State’s Veterans Cemetery in Middletown for the full military funeral.
Those being honored served during World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam. Among them was Victor Herbert Anderson, a U.S. Marine who served in WW II. He aspired to be a pilot but was initially rejected. It wasn’t until a pilot shortage gave him an opportunity. He then flew on over a dozen bombing missions.
“He went above and beyond the call. He put himself in harm’s way in order to protect this nation,” said Senator Chris Murphy, explaining Anderson’s story.
Anderson, along with seven others, died without the comfort of friends or relatives. On Friday, they were surrounded by those who know their sacrifice.
“I think in some ways, even though we are often thanked, people don’t realize what these people have done,” said Army veteran Michael Carelli.
Veterans from around the state whose only connection is the uniform they wear were on hand as the ashes of these brave men were laid to rest with honor.
“We are making things right. We’re claiming them and folding them into our family,” added Army veteran Rob Migliore.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Friday’s ceremony was part of the military’s fundamental creed to never leave a soldier behind.