CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – As Taps played, the American flag waved gently in the breeze: A symbol of protection and peace, made possible through the brave actions of the men and women who served our country.
“Very seldom has anything ever attacked our soil, and that’s because of our military, and eventually that military becomes our veterans, and they are our veterans,” said Gene McGreevy, Commander of Disabled Veterans Chapter 11 out of Westover.
The City of Chicopee has a profound appreciation of the military. It is home to Westover Air Reserve Base. Many of its residents are either veterans or active duty service members. Dozens of them gathered around the flagpole at Doverbrook Estates to honor and remember our veterans.
Doverbrook Estates started out as housing for members of the military stationed just next door at Westover Air Reserve Base. That’s all since changed, but one thing has stayed the same: For more than thirty years, a Veterans Day ceremony has been held at the Estates, surrounding a memorial listing the names of local fallen heroes.
Boy Scouts saluted their heroes while learning what this holiday meant for the people of Chicopee.
“People don’t appreciate going to Szot Park and what that veteran had done for our country, let alone Litwin School (Sergeant Robert R. Litwin School), or Dupont Memorial School (named after 1st Sergeant Kevin A. Dupont Memorial Middle School), so on a regular basis, I think there’s a great opportunity for people to pause and reflect and really give thanks,” Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos told 22News.
“A lot of times you’ll see our veterans, you don’t know that they’re veterans, they could be our neighbors, fire department, police, but they’re still serving yet today, even though they’re not in uniform,” said Westover Air Reserve Base Commander Jay Jensen. He said it’s an honor to serve our nation, but he appreciates gratitude from the community, especially on Veterans Day.
When you see a veteran today, remember: a simple “thank you,” can go a long way.