SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno, along with Congressman Richard Neal and the Springfield Veterans’ Services Department held the annual Veterans Day Ceremony Wednesday morning.
According to a news release sent to 22News, the ceremony did not have the usual gathering of veterans and other officials due to COVID-19. However, the city still wanted to do something special for all the veterans in the community to thank them for their service, and remember the ones who are not with us today.
The national anthem and the march of the color guard kicked off the Veterans Day ceremony outside City Hall. A smaller crowd of Springfield leaders, veterans, and residents gathered with face masks on to commemorate this day and pay tribute to all veterans.
Veterans told 22News about the significance of this day and what it means to them.
“We followed the orders, we followed the regulations, we followed our commander and chiefs order. And we served. We served! And we are standing tall today,” said Gumersindo Gomez, Vietnam Veteran and Executive Director of Veterans Bilingual Outreach Center.
“I think about all the Springfield veterans that I know we lost. Some were friends of mine, others I didn’t know but also had value. They should not be the forgotten,” said Milton Jones, an Air Force Vietnam veteran.
Gomez and Jones were among at least two dozen veterans that were applauded at the ceremony for their service. The ceremony came to a close with the traditional laying of the wreaths on the monuments along Veteran’s Way.
Veterans day has been celebrated every November in this country since the armistice ended World War II in 1946.
Following the ceremony, Mayor Sarno and representatives from the Italian Cultural Center of Western Mass Inc. and the South End Citizens Council held a small ceremony to honor the Veterans at the Italian-American Veterans Memorial Monument.