SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Heroes were honored during a special ceremony at Bright Nights in Forest Park.
Wednesday was Military and First Responders night. Active military, firefighters, law enforcement, and emergency medical technicians were given free admission.
Bright Nights visitors were greeted by local heroes from the Springfield police and fire departments, state police, and the National Guard.
“With everything that is going on and everything that the National Guard has been doing for COVID the last year, it means a lot to us,” Major General Gary Keefe, the Adjutant General for the Massachusetts National Guard, expressed. “Even with the mask on, to be able to look at somebody and be relatively close and say, ‘hey thank you for your service and thank you for your support.'”
The Bright Nights entrance was lined with American flags sponsored by NiSource Charitable Foundation. According to a news release sent to 22News, visitors were greeted by the following:
- Major General Gary Keefe, The Adjutant General for the Massachusetts National Guard
- Colonel William T. Bladen, Wing Commander for the 104th Fighter Wing
- Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno
- Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood
- Fire Commissioner B. J. Calvi
- Lieutenant John Provost
- Trooper Ryan Clapprood from the Massachusetts State Police
- Representatives from American Medical Response
- Members of the Springfield Veterans Activities Committee will be there to offer assistance
“It is a special night,” said Spirit of Springfield President Judy Matt. “Soldiers, police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and their families, all deserve some holiday cheer for the sacrifices they make throughout the year.”
Bright Nights at Forest Park have been celebrating the holidays for over 20 years. The lights will continue through Wednesday, January 6.