FARMINGTON It was in remembrance of those who served this country to uphold the principles of justice, freedom and democracy that brought Legionnaires and the community together Monday.

“Let us not forget, all gave some and some gave all,” American Legion Roderick-Crosby Post 28 Commander David Targett said before wreaths were placed at monuments in Meetinghouse Park. 

The Memorial Day parade stopped at the park and on Anson Street, where Targett placed a wreath in the cemetery behind the courthouse.

Earlier, two brothers both veterans placed a wreath at the World War I memorial on Main Street as the Legion color guard stood by. Prayer was offered by Legion Chaplain Langdon Adams.

Munroe Hawkins, 93, of Farmington served in Europe during World War II. His younger brother, William Hawkins, 90, of Vermont, served in the Philippines and then in Korea.

The veterans do not organize Memorial Day events for a pat on the back, Vice Commander Tim Callahan said during a service at the American Legion.

“We don’t put 1,032 flags on veteran graves around Farmington to get our picture in the paper,” he said. “It’s a memorial to those servicemen and women who are no longer here.”

Those wars stretch from the Civil War to World War I and on to present-day conflicts, he said.

For each soldier, those flags symbolize home, security and freedom, he said.

Landing in a foreign land, the smells are different, the language is different … it’s a different life, he said. Sometimes without water, with bad food and stuck in a foxhole for hours, the American “flag is our remembrance of home,” he added.

During their meetings, the veterans recite the preamble to the constitution, he said.

“We’re here to uphold and defend the constitution,” Callahan said.

The members will continue to fight for health care and rights for veterans —that’s why we meet to uphold the principles of justice, freedom and democracy, he said.

Legionnaire Jim Harris sang the national anthem and led the audience in singing “America the Beautiful.”

State Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, read from a newspaper clipping from 1866. The article told of the work done by the state Senate and House in the years after the Civil War. One act was to allow any city or town to raise funds to erect monuments in memory of the soldiers who served. The funds were not to exceed $5,000 and could be raised by taxation.

In a letter from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the senator reminded those attending that “freedom is a gift purchased at the greatest price.”

After the service, local residents lined the street to watch the parade process through town. The parade included the Legion color guard, veterans and family members, the Legion Auxiliary, Old Crow Band, Boy and Girl Scouts, members of the community, a Wilton firetruck and NorthStar ambulance led by Farmington police Chief Jack Peck and former Franklin County Sheriff Dennis Pike. A light lunch at the Legion Hall followed parade festivities.

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