130 Veterans from Danbury, New Fairfield and Sherman have received Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medals. A ceremony was held Tuesday at Danbury High School. The medals were presented by Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly. 25 were awarded posthumously.
Connolly called it truly a great honor to be able to recognize veterans. He's been Commissioner for 7 months and every day he wakes up inspired.
(Photo Courtesy: State VA, Facebook)
There are more than 200,000 veterans in the state. Connolly says there's nothing more satisfying than thanking veterans, and being able to pin a medal on them for their service.
The medal was reintroduced in 2005.
Connolly says it's a way for Connecticut to honor veterans who have served during wartime. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Merchant Marines and Coast Guard were among the branches represented by some 80 honorees. All eras were represented, beginning with World War II. There were also veterans who served in the Vietnam War, Korean War, the Cold War, the Desert Storm and Desert Shield era and post-9/11 veterans.
Connolly thanked veterans for their service in the military, and for continuing to give back to their communities.
Area state and local elected officials, as well as family members of honorees, were in attendance. The ceremony was sponsored by Senator Mike McLachlan and the state Representatives whose districts overlap with his. The lawmakers reached out to constituents and then worked with VA staff to verify eligibility.
This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. Connecticut is also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. Connolly says this was an opportunity to recognize the veterans who weren't honored the way they should have when they came home.
Connolly would like to make November Veterans Month. He says the United States has the longest enduring constitutional democracy because of the sacrifices of service men and women, and he wants state residents to reflect on that. He also wants everyone to thank them for providing their service for us.