May 26--ENFIELD -- Families, friends, politicians and veterans paid tribute to fallen servicemen and servicewomen during the town's annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony Sunday afternoon.
Starting just after noon, Enfield residents lined Enfield Street as veterans marched or rode in floats, marching bands performed and local groups showcased their work.
After the parade, town and state officials, residents and veterans gathered on the town green for a wreath presentation. The John F. Kennedy Middle School and Enfield High School marching bands performed.
The parade and ceremony, organized by Enfield Veterans Council chairman Ted Plamondon Jr., began with a brief history of Memorial Day.
Plamondon said that Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, was meant to be a day to evoke the memories of those killed in war.
Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, and Rep. David Kiner, D-Enfield, urged residents to thank veterans and families of veterans. Rep. David Alexander, D-Enfield, who currently serves as the company commander of H&S Company, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines, shared updates on educational opportunities available to former servicemen and servicewomen.
Enfield Mayor Scott Kaupin said that Memorial Day "brings a community together to rally around those that have served, the families of the fallen and for the fallen as well."
Kaupin thanked veterans and families of veterans, specifically Lou and Kathy Johnson, parents of Marine Lance Cpl. Philip Alexander Johnson, who was killed in Iraq on Sept. 3, 2006.
"The pain is still really close to the heart but you know that you have a community that stands beside you 365 days a year," Kaupin said.
The Veterans Council orders 4,896 flags for Enfield graves.
William J. McGurk, retired from the Navy and Naval Reserve, said fallen veterans were "old enough to know that such service has its dangers, brave enough to serve as so many before them in the noblest of causes, for peace and for liberty, they are, simply stated, American heroes."
(c)2014 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services