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By Joshua Cohen
Vermont National Guard Public Affairs
On May 26, 2022, the VTNG held a Memorial Day ceremony at Camp Johnson in Colchester, Vermont.
The occasion marked the second time the ceremony was conducted at the Fallen Hero’s Memorial’s new site, a location accessible to the public.
In attendance, Vermont’s Adjutant General, Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight was joined by Vermont’s Lt. Governor Molly Gray, Vermont Gold Star families, and veterans.
The VTNG 40th Army Band provided music throughout the event.
In a speech, Knight noted the intangibles that come with military service.
“The Guard members we remember here today, and the Fallen from all services across all generations, knew the challenges and sacrifices, even the potential of the ultimate sacrifice, that comes with service in our military. In my perspective, it is always our duty to remember them, celebrate their lives, support their families, and know we stand on their shoulders, striving to achieve great things.”
In a keynote address, Gray reflected on the meaning of Memorial Day.
“We are here today to observe Memorial Day, to honor our fallen service members, and to remember the sacrifices they have made for our country. Our fallen are our heroes and we remember and recognize their achievements, their courage, and their dedication.”
One Veteran in attendance, Thomas Fraga, remarked, “it is certainly something that is deep in my heart and soul, especially with the world as it is today it is a chance to remember what we have given and those who have gone before us. I can’t help but feel that makes us stronger to remember them. “
Fraga served in the US Marine Corps and the VTNG.
Maj. Gen. Knight also offered his thought on the meaning of the Memorial Day holiday.
“As we remember those who have gone before us, I offer you a quote from Congressman Charlie Dent: ‘Freedom does not come without a price. We may sometimes take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in America, but they have all been earned through the ultimate sacrifice made by so many of the members of our armed forces.’ Today, we should all remember that.”
In closing, an honor guard performed a rifle salute followed by a VTNG bugler playing Taps.
At the end of the ceremony, Gold Star families in attendance were invited to leave flowers at the Fallen Hero’s Memorial.