‘Victory and tragedy’: Middletown marks Veterans Day on the Green – Middletown Press

‘victory-and-tragedy’:-middletown-marks-veterans-day-on-the-green-–-middletown-press

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The Middletown Council of Veterans organized a Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, five-gun salute and the playing of taps, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here, Middletown High School graduate Allison Lindsay sings the National Anthem.
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The Middletown Council of Veterans organized a Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, five-gun salute and the playing of taps, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Here, Middletown High School graduate Allison Lindsay sings the National Anthem.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

Mayor Ben Florsheim spoke during Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street.
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Mayor Ben Florsheim spoke during Middletown’s Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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The Middletown PBA band took part in Middletown's Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Green on Washington Street Thursday morning.
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The Middletown PBA band took part in Middletown’s Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Green on Washington Street Thursday morning.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, a rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown’s Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, a rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

Ken McClellan is president of the Greater Middletown Military Musuem.
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Ken McClellan is president of the Greater Middletown Military Musuem.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown’s Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
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John Botti, Veterans of Foreign Wars commander, Connecticut District, led Middletown's Veterans Day observation Thursday morning at Veterans Green on Washington Street. The ceremony included the Middletown PBA band, the playing of taps and five-gun salute, a stirring rendition of the National Anthem, and the presentation of a plaque on the occasion of the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cassandra Day / Hearst Connecticut Media

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MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown Council of Veterans, local officials and members of the community gathered Thursday morning — a crisp and sunny autumn day — to mark Veterans Day on Veterans Green.

The well-attended event included a five-gun salute from members of an East Haddam color guard and the playing of taps, performances by the Middletown Police Benevolent Association band, and a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Middletown High School graduate Allison Lindsay.

Veterans of Foreign Wars commander for Connecticut’s District 6, John Botti, was emcee for the program.

“We have dealt with victory and tragedy,” he said, referring to his fellow veterans. “We have celebrated and mourned, and lost a few along the way. … Some of us never came home at all.”

Commanders and other representatives from Middletown’s many veterans organizations attended the event, including those with the American Legion District 7, American Legion posts 75 and 206, Catholic War Veterans, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 7, Jewish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Veterans of the Vietnam War, and Elks Club 711 members.

Common Council Minority Leader Phil Pessina and Councilwoman Jeanette Blackwell were also in attendance.

Mayor Ben Florsheim said days such as Veterans Day can be celebrated in one of two ways. “It could be treated as a special day for veterans and their families that happens once a year … or the opportunity for the whole community to reflect on what we do, and why we do it every other day of the year.

“We are in that second category,” the mayor said, pointing to the great number of veterans groups and all those who support service people in the city.

“... We like to say, ‘every day should be recognized as Veterans Day.’ In communities like Middletown, we make that practice. We make that reality,” Florsheim said.

The #Middletown

Greater Middletown Military Museum President Ken McClellan took the stage to list Botti’s many accomplishments, including deployments and many service medals.

“I’m going to try and briefly explain what a veteran is,” Botti told the crowd. “Some who have never served probably haven’t given this day another thought: except for knowing the banks are closed and the post office will be closed. Perhaps this will let you understand a little bit more.”

He went on to explain the sacrifices he and his fellow soldiers made.

“To understand a military veteran is to know we left home as teenagers ... for unknown adventures. We loved our country enough to defend it and protect it with our own lives,” he continued. “We said goodbye to our friends and family and everything we knew.

Veterans Day in Middletown. The playing of taps pic.twitter.com/

“We learned the basics, and then we scattered into the world to far corners of the earth,” Botti said. “We found new friends and new family. We became brothers and sisters — regardless of color, race or creed.”

Veterans served, Botti explained, without knowing if they’d ever be home again. “We grew up fast, yet, somehow, we never grew up at all,” he said.

At the conclusion, a representative from the Nutmeg Blue Star Mothers presented a gift to the Greater Middletown Military Museum on the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

A special procession was held Thursday at the national cemetery to recreate elements of the initial ceremony held Nov. 11, 1921.

The gift, a “never forget” garden marker, reads “This garden is a living tribute to all of America’s veterans and their families. In silence and respect, this is a place to remember why millions of Americans have fought and died for our liberty and our freedom.”

Botti addressed his fellow service people, encouraging them to “try to remember the good times and make peace with the bad times. Remember to stand tall and proud, for you have earned the right to be called a veteran.”

Veterans Day Middletown

Lovely rendition of the National Anthem

The 11 a.m. ceremony was the second of many events planned Thursday in observation of the holiday. At 9 a.m., there was a flag-raising ceremony and breakfast at Middlesex Health Care, then a drive-by lunch at Water’s Edge Health Care, a 2 p.m. observance at the State Veterans Cemetery, and free supper for veterans at the Elks Lodge 771.

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