Chicopee residents recognize Veterans Day by reflecting, giving gratitude to service members

Hampden County

Veterans Day is a time to recognize those brave men and women who serve our country in war and peace.

For Korean War veteran, Ronald Laplante of Chicopee, it’s a time to remember fallen brothers.

“It’s a time of remembering all my buddies, that I served with,” said Laplante. “They’re the ones that aren’t here. That’s what it means to me. A time to remember.”

At the annual Veterans Day Mass at St. Stanislaus Church in Chicopee, veterans, loved ones and community members reflected on the selfless acts of our military members.

“Taking a moment to remember the past and remembering those who went before us and paid the ultimate sacrifice for us, is what propels us. Moving forward, to continue serving in uniform and out,” said Stephanie Shaw, Director of Veterans Services in Chicopee. 

After mass, parishioners walked to the Veterans Plaza, next door, for a wreath-laying ceremony. 

It was a time to reflect, give gratitude and say ‘thank you’ to men like Laplante and Chicopee resident Father William F. Davitt, who was the last American to die in World War 1.

Davitt died 75 minutes before the war ended. To commemorate his sacrifice, a bridge and VFW post are named in his honor.

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