Meaning of Memorial Day honored in West Springfield

Gold Star mother honored with Massachusetts Medal of Liberty Monday

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Communities throughout Western Massachusetts honored their war dead on Monday. The town of West Springfield observed the day with a parade followed by a memorial service.

Those who now serve, along with veterans who had served, led the line of march from St. Thomas the Apostle Church to the West Springfield Town Common. For Vietnam veteran Richard Hanna of West Springfield, seeing so many people lining the parade route was especially gratifying.

“I’ll tell you what. this is outstanding, awesome. The veterans need this, especially Vietnam veterans, we missed out on coming home, It’s something that helps us,” Hanna said.

At the conclusion at the parade, recognition for fallen servicemen and women was given at the war memorial mouments at the Town Common. It is where Gold Star mother Tracy Taylor received the Massachusetts Medal of Liberty on the 10th anniversary of her son’s death in combat.

“It’s a day that’s very emotional, because I remember my son, the other fallen soldiers,” Taylor said.

“It’s a difficult day, a difficult situation. When I think about it every day, every evening, it’s not far from my heart.”

Tracy Taylor lost her son in October of 2007, when he was killed in Iraq. Monday morning, the Gold Star mother shared her story with 22News during Monday’s Memorial Day parade and observance in West Springfield.

Memorial Day has not lost its meaning for those still mourning lost loved ones or comrades in battle.