On May 27, the American Legion Post 3, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6483 and the Milford Community Band honored the soldiers that have served the United States Military and given the ultimate sacrifice, with a Memorial Day Service held at the Milford Senior Center. This year the ceremony focused on the Anniversary of World War I, 1917-1918, recognizing significant dates from the global engagement that shaped the world.
Retired Lieutenant Malcolm Foster opened the ceremony with the invocation. “We remember our comrades that have received their final discharge from earth,” stated Foster. “Some gave their tomorrows so that we could enjoy our today.”
Through an interactive program, Foster highlighted critical dates including the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914 that sparked the beginning of the World War and the sinking of the British passenger ship the Lusitania in 1915 that led to the United Stated entering into the European conflict. The declaration of war on Germany in 1917 by President Woodrow Wilson and the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 that proclaimed the ending of the War was also highlighted.
The Levitsky Sisters, served United States Army during World World II, with Representatives Jack Peterman and Harvey Kenton.
Branches of the United States military were honored with a wreath presentation and an armed forces tribute by family members of the deceased. Members of the American home front, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Women’s Airforce Service Pilots and Air Force were asked to stand to be honored for their service.The American home front was represented by Patricia Nisson, mother of Master Sergeant Kenneth Nisson, U.S. Army who served in Iraq; and Carol Wryte, mother of 2nd Sergeant Gil who served in Afghanistan. The United States Army was represented by 1st Sergeant Ray Mannel and 1st Sergeant Dan Patillo who served in Vietnsm. The United States Navy was represented by CF2 Mark Stayton and E3 Kanae L Wright who served in Desert Storm. The United States Marine Corps was represented by Corporal Donald Dennis and Sargeant Charles Coulter who served in Vietnam. The United States Air Force was represented Major Sergeant Edward M. Moczulski and SM Sergeant Hank Waulby who served in Thailand.
VFW Post 6483 Commander Dr. Gerald Thompson, who served in Vietnam gave the memorial address. “It seems like a lot of Americans have forgotten the meaning behind Memorial Day,” commented Thompson. “It is a day to reflect about al the luxuries we have, like freedom. Americans owe a great deal of debt to those who have given their lives. As we celebrate we must remember the sacrifices and celebrate the contribution they have made.”
During the ceremony, two individuals were honored with the Gold Star distinction; at the national level this award is the highest honor given to a civilian. The award was given to Joan Muffler, mother of Corporal John M. Muffler , United State Marine Corps, who died in a terrorist bombing in Beirut in Lebanon in 1983; and Dorothy Stubbs, mother of Private First ClassWayne C. Jester, United States Army 101st Airborne Division, who died in Vietnam in 1968 at 19 years old. The ceremony closed with an honorary 21 gun salute, the playing of taps and the crowd singing God Bless America.