By Julia Barcello
This past Monday, Americans spent the day honoring our nations veterans for their commitment to their country, especially those who did not return home.
The Byram Veterans Association held a memorial service at the Eugene Morlot Park on Sue Metz Way in Byram, CT. The park is just behind Byram School, honoring 13 veterans who had been students there.
The park was named after Eugene Morlot, a World War II veteran and a custodian at Byram School to honor former Byram School students who lost their lives on the battle front. The park has three trees which were planted in honor of former students who died in the Korean War and Vietnam War, at the stump of each tree is a brass nameplate recognizing one of the 13 veterans.
The memorial service began with prayer, followed by a moment of silence. Jim Ferreria, an associate member of the board of the Byram Veterans Association passionately stated, “They [veterans] gave their todays so we [American’s] can have our tomorrows.”
After the moment of silence, Ferreria stated each veteran’s name and background as attendees stood at each tree with American flags, placing those flags at the veterans’ plaques.
To conclude the ceremony, there was a closing prayer thanking those who served, followed by a placing of a wreath full of red roses, and purple and white hydrangeas next to the half-staffed American flag.
A United States Navy veteran, Micheal Armstrong, gave his advice to new generations, “Learn the American history… Known where you came from and take it upon yourselves to be a small part of that in some way. Everyone can.”
When expressing the importance of honoring veterans, Ferreira said, “Freedom is not free. It came with a price. That is important for people to understand… The youth of the nation need to know that there was a cause, and there is a reason they are able to do the stuff that they do.”
Armstrong further expressed the distinctiveness of the United States thanks to veterans, “You [American’s] have the freedom to do what you want, religion or no religion, job, any job you want. You do not get to do that in every country in this world, so thanks to them, we still can.”