The City of Waterbury celebrated the service and sacrifice of hundreds of veterans, Wednesday evening. A dinner organized by the Waterbury Veterans Memorial Committee was held at the city’s Ponte Club, a few days before Memorial Day.
Awards were given to several generations of veterans, including World War II veteran Roland Hamel, who remembered his historic involvement with the atomic bomb that fell on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.
“We had the honor, not knowing at the time, to guard the Enola Gay, before it took off with the atomic bomb,” Hamel said.
Others, including a group of Gold Star Mothers, remembered their sons who did not make it home from war.
“This is our holiday. We lost our sons in the Vietnam War and Memorial Day, that’s what it’s all about. We’re honoring those who didn’t come home,” Gold Star Mother Mary Kight said.
Vietnam veteran, Joe Griggs, asked the crowd to think of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and those who are in danger every day.
“Being in the military means, it’s synonymous with sacrifice. And that’s what they’re doing, many in a dangerous area. Please, everybody, just say a prayer for them every day,” Griggs said.
For more on Gold Star Moms, a group that comforts mothers and other relatives who have lost loved ones in combat, click here.