People lined up along Peck Street and Farmington Avenue with red and blue balloons, popcorn, and flags for the annual Memorial Day parade on Monday. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the event was move due to rain.
“We are here today to honor our service members, and to remember the sacrifices that they made to defend our country,” Mayor Mark Kaczynski said during the ceremony. “The men and women who fought in American battles and who served their country in support of the military made a significant sacrifice in fighting for the freedom, and liberty that we all enjoy today.”
The BHS Chorus performed the National Anthem while the Redcoat Marching Band played military melodies and Taps.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 10732, and American Legion Post 68 performed a rifle volley.
Attendees of the ceremony had a chance to listen to the guest speaker Peter Galgano Jr., secretary of the Berlin Veterans Commission. He’s also a Vietnam veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and a volunteer for veterans’ causes across the state and nation.
Galgano was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame in 2012 and created Berlin’s Digital Wall of Honor for veterans.
During his speech, Galgano reminded everyone about the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day.
Though both of these patriotic days are honored in the military, they are very different holidays.
“Memorial Day honors the men and women who died while serving in the military. This solemn occasion is a time to reflect on these American patriots who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and defending the country that they deeply loved,” said Galgano. “Veterans Day recognizes all who have served and all who are serving in the armed forces.”
Galgano noted that only 1 percent of Americans have served in the military and reminded attendees that they do not need to wait for a national holiday to show their gratitude to service members.