Flags began flying at half staff from sunrise and will remain that way until noon on Monday as the nation honors those who gave their lives for the country.
While the rainy weather has put a damper on Memorial Day for cities and towns across Connecticut, many parades went on as scheduled, including one in Middletown.
Hundreds of people came out for the parade regardless of the weather in a tradition that dates back to the 1890s.
Vietnam veteran Randolph Moses feels Memorial Day, a day celebrated as a solemn time to remember those who paid the ultimate price in service of the nation, is lost on many. He said that troubles him.
"Somebody gotta go fight for everybody to live the way they're living," Moses said. “I think if it started raining right now, everybody would stay put."
Veterans from various military branches walked in the parade as did Middletown’s High School marching band, dance teams, and dignitaries.
All of this happened amid storm clouds that brought some rain, not enough to alter the plan for parade-goers or organizers.
Custom hat and all, Ruth Rich is not one of the people who may have forgotten the meaning of the day.
"I hope they understand what this is all about," she said.
Rich has relatives still serving.
"I'm happy that I'm alive and we're free," Rich said.
She wore a patriotic hat designed by her late mother. The bright red hat had photographs of the Liberty Bell, with a background of American flags, and a P.O.W. pin.
It’s a hat she wears every Memorial Day to honor those who lost their lives in service to the country, and show support for several relatives who are active duty members of the military.
The theme this year was "Jewish war veterans."
The parade kicked off at 10:30 a.m.; however, some roads closed around 10 a.m. The closures included parts of Main and Washington Streets.
The parade made its way down Main Street to the Union Green.
People coming in from Portland over the Arrigoni Bridge had to head down Hartford Avenue to Route 9.
For a list of parades, canceled or not, click here.
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