Family pays respect for fallen service members at Middletown cemetery

MIDDLETOWN – Memorial Day is about remembering the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Many loved ones of veterans went to the State Veterans Cemetery in Middletown, Monday, to pay respects to the thousands of soldiers buried there.

U.S. Coast Guard Veteran Jesse Schwartz brought his family there in an effort to instill the true meaning of Memorial Day to his children.

Schwartz served 8 years in the Coast Guard and was deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.

Along with his wife and three children, the family visits the cemetery each Memorial Day as a yearly tradition to pay respects in a unique way.

“When we found out there was a Veteran's cemetery in Connecticut we started bringing them here to put roses on some of the stones to teach my kids Memorial Day is not about drinking and partying all the time, it’s about remembering the people who died in service for this country,” he said.

Schwartz reads the name of the veteran along with their service to his children, they place a rose on the stone, and they thank the soldier for their service.

“Just take a minute and think about how lucky we are because of the people that didn’t make it back,” he said.

Vietnam Veteran William Quinn also visited his father, mother and younger brother at the cemetery.

“It's very humbling for me that I’m able to come up, walk around, visit and see the grave markers because these guys here are men and women, they sacrificed their lives to give me an opportunity to do that,” he said.