SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Veterans who’ve attended this Springfield observance for years told 22News, the parade and the service that followed have rarely been so well attended and filled with such enthusiasm.
Vietnam veterans like Stanley Light remarked that their reception on this day was far different than what they’d experienced when they first returned from Southeast Asia. “This wasn’t always a nice greeting for us,” Light said. “But today, when you measure it against this kind of reception, it’s terrific. It really is great.”
Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni served as Parade Marshal. And a large crowd gathered outside Springfield City Hall at the end of the parade to pay tribute to Springfield’s Veteran of the Year, Eric Rosa.
Among the Veterans in attendance, the Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle Group, who honored the young people in uniform attending this ceremony. “What really made me especially proud was to see the young ROTC cadets,” said. “This is our future and to see so many of them, it makes me very proud.”
The ceremony filled with expressions of respect on the steps of city hall, only steps away from the veterans monuments at court square park honoring those who had given their lives for their country during the course of many wars.