AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – Service men and women fight to protect our nation, but some never return home from battle. Agawam residents gathered together at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery to pay tribute to these fallen heroes.
The words, ‘gone, but not forgotten’ embody the respect and appreciation Agawam residents and government leaders felt on Memorial Day.
Dozens of people packed the cemetery’s chapel for a ceremony honoring fallen service men and women.
“I think it’s the most important thing we can do is be present, be here,” said State Representative Nicholas Boldyga, (R) Southwick. “We don’t always have the right words to say but being here is what means the most to pay respect to those families who have lost their loved ones.”
People paid their respects to soldiers who served their country, but also to family members, parents, grandparents and children.
Thousands of American flags lined cemetery grave stones for Memorial Day, a site that many family members come to remember lost loved ones that paid the ultimate price.
Chicopee resident Traci Taylor wears military ID tags to remember her son.
“I don’t get to hug him. I don’t get to go through any of life’s wonderful marriages, babies. I have none of that; that was all taken.” Taylor told 22News. “But he did what he wanted to be doing. It was an honor that he served his country.”
Fellow service members came to the ceremony to honor fallen comrades they fought beside.
“It’s taken very personal. It’s like losing a brother or sister,” said Francisco Ureña, Secretary of Veterans’ Services’. “That sense of commitment that we vow never to forget.”
The ceremony ended with a tribute to fallen soldiers, including a gun salute and wreath ceremony.