Connecticut is currently boosting of possessing a monument that was built in honor of veterans who were disabled in war. This happens to be the very first memorial that has been exclusively dedicated to all the disabled veterans despite ones’ military branch. The unveiling and dedication took place last Saturday and the venue was Veteran’s Memorial Green on Washington Street.
The celebration marked the completion and actualization of the project that took 3 years and had started when two members of the Shea-Cedarholm-Clark Chapter #7 of Disabled American Veterans came up with a similar idea in the exact instant. This was according to a statement by members.
It was back in 2014 when both, John DiMauro, chapter commander, and Thomas Goglia, adjutant, had gone to D.C., the two were seated on the front row as the lighting of the ceremonial flame at The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial took place. When the two were heading back they drove past the Veteran’s Green and immediately the idea of a memorial dedicated to the disabled veterans popped up in their head.
DiMauro said that the memorial was dedicated to honor all the veterans who have both physical and unrecognizable disabilities.
During the ceremony Goglia, a U.S. Air Force veteran and was present during the Vietnam conflict, asked the younger veterans to utilize all the services that they are being offered so that they can enjoy all the benefits they are entitled to. A four gun saluted was part of the ceremony and was done by non-other than a color guard squad from the American Legion Post 256.
Hazel Pufahl of Ashford was the 8 year old who sang the national anthem during the ceremony. She had been asked to sing in the ceremony by the Commissioner of Veterans Affairs. She had also been requested to perform during the Memorial Day ceremony in Middletown. According to her father, Jason Pufahl, Hazel has been performing in several memorial ceremonies that have been held in the city. The 8 year old comes from a family of veterans with 3 of her grandfathers being veterans. When interviewed, Hazel commented that she loves singing and had a lot of fun during the whole ceremony.
Mayor Dan Drew, was thrilled at said that his town was fortunate to be the humble home of the monument. The Public Works department of the city has come up with a plan to add an accessible sidewalk so that the place can be accessible also to the handicapped.