Shelton paid tribute to those who have served their country during a Veterans Day ceremony on Nov. 11 at Veterans Memorial Park (the Riverwalk).
Al Sabetta, adjutant of American Legion Sutter-Terlizzi Post No. 16 in Shelton, said U.S. veterans have fought “with our minds and hearts as well as our bodies” because they were on the side of freedom.
Members of the armed services have battled “against forces of evil,” helping to preserve “our precious American heritage,” said Sabetta, who served in the Korean War.
Walter Bills, chaplain of Sutter-Terlizzi Post No. 16, said veterans had made “sacrifices for this generation and those to come.”
Bills, a Vietnam veteran, said he hoped “the end of strife will be the beginning of the endurance of peace.”
During a prayer, he asked for “a blessing of understanding” for the families and friends of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Sabetta said Veterans Day is about “commemorating the service of veterans in all wars.”
Names of the deceased read aloud
About 75 people attended the ceremony on a sunny autumn morning. The event included the reading aloud of the names of Shelton veterans who have died in the past year, the placing of a memorial wreath at a veterans monument, a military gun salute, the playing of taps, and a reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance.
“Every day should be Veterans Day,” Alderman Anthony F. Simonetti told the gathering. “Every day we have freedom in this country is because of you.”
John F. Anglace Jr., Board of Aldermen president, said he had attended “a tremendously moving [Veterans Day] ceremony” at a Shelton school earlier in the day, and it confirmed that the city’s students understand and appreciate the importance of the day.
“You don’t have to worry about our youth,” Anglace said during his remarks.
Color guard is present
The ceremony included a color guard comprised of members of the Sutter-Terlizzi Post, VFW Post No. 16 in Shelton, and the Shelton Police Department.
The Echo Hose fire company hung a large American flag from a fire truck ladder over Canal Street, near the Farmers Market Building.
Doughnuts and coffee were offered to event participants and guests at the Farmers Market Building. The fifth annual “DAR and Doughnuts” was organized by the Daughters of the American Revolution local chapter, with the Dunkin’ Donuts on Howe Avenue donating the items.
Iwo Jima survivor’s death recognized
Several speakers noted that Mayor Mark Lauretti couldn’t attend because he was at the funeral of a close family friend who was a survivor of the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II.
The late John Mehaylo of Shelton died at age 88 on Nov. 6. Mehaylo, who served in the Marines, had been a longtime physical education teacher at Shelton High School.
Speakers noted Mehaylo symbolized the love of country and commitment of all veterans, having faithfully attended the Shelton Veterans Day ceremony every year.