WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The City of Westfield honored fallen and their families with a parade and ceremony downtown Monday morning. Those in attendance beaming with pride over their city’s patriotism.

“When I came home that day, I decided I was going to give back because there are so many ahead of me that gave their life for us. Memorial Day does have that sadness in the background. But if you forget them, that’s even worse. So bring them up, talk about them that day. It’s the best way to honor their sacrifice,” said Cindy LaCoste, a retired U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer.

“It’s the unofficial start of summer. People have beers, people have burgers. That’s great but while you’re doing that… remember what this day is all about. If you take away the sacrifice of our service members. Everything else we have in this country… none of that exists,” said Senator John Velis.

Cities and towns across the country are holding events similar to this but speaking to the people participating in, honored by and watching the parade, they told 22News Westfield does it better than most.

“Westfield understands that Memorial Day is the most sacred day of the year. this is about those who never got out of their uniform for the last time. That laid it all on the line, who didn’t come home,” said LaCoste.

The day of remembrance continued with a ceremony at Parker Memorial Park.