Memorial Day parades, ceremonies held throughout state - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Memorial Day parades, ceremonies held throughout state

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Memorial Day ceremony held in Avon on Monday (WFSB) Memorial Day ceremony held in Avon on Monday (WFSB)
AVON, CT (WFSB) -

Memorial Day services and parades took place throughout Connecticut on Monday.

Every community has their own connection to Memorial Day, and Avon residents shared some of their own.

Morton Katz hopped out of a truck without pause to speak at the Avon Memorial Day ceremony on Monday.

"WWII, I’m 99 years old,” Katz said.

He goes to the parade every year with his VFW post.

“I served in England, North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Anzio beach head, southern France, the Ardenz campaign in Belgium, we got wiped out there and I was transferred to the H and A airborne division. After the 505 we made the river crossing and my guys and my intelligence outfit found the concentration camp in Lundenvusch,” Katz said.

Before the ceremony was a parade from Sperry Park, down Route 44, to the veterans’ memorial at the town green.

"It means a lot to me because my father was in the service,” said Bill Newkirk, of Canton.

"It's to celebrate the veterans that served our country,” said Gianna Bussolini, of Simsbury.

For many, it's about supporting those who are in the family.

"My father is the parade marshal, Bill Samol, he's been the parade marshal for Avon for 18 years and my great-grandfather who was big red one in Normandy in WWII," said Cristina Bussolini.

For a military family, it's about supporting all involved.

"This is my 18th year as parade chairman for Avon and the support for this town is so patriotic it gives you goosebumps,” Bill Samol, who is a Vietnam veteran, said.

Samol's 94-year-old father, Jim Pethais was among those in the parade.

“He happened to be landing at Normandy on Omaha Beach first wave, 1944 and here he is today,” Samol said.

Samol’s best friend, who he followed into the military when he was younger, was there as well.

"I’m happy I’m here in the support especially with the young kids that's even better and remembering the reason why we're all here,” said Scott Thomas, a Vietnam veteran.

"It's kind of remembering all of these people, because when I was in fifth grade we did a lot about WWII so I got a better understanding about the stuff that happened so, it just makes me feel good,” said Ian Russell, of Avon.

"The support is very emotional, to be honest with you, people walk up to you and thank you for your service,” said James Hutton, a Vietnam veteran.

The town of Rocky Hill came together also on Monday to honor those who served.

The rain stopped just in time for the parade to step off Monday morning.

Veterans said it warms their hearts to see the community come out to celebrate.

In Old Saybrook, the Memorial Day ceremony was held dockside.

Two boats in Long Island Sound carried out a full Naval ritual with a rifle salute.

A wreath was also laid in the Connecticut River.

From the dock, everyone paraded to the veterans’ memorial monuments on the town green on Main Street.

See photos of how others paid tribute on Monday here.

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