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Greenwich Daily Voice serves Greenwich, CT

Greenwich Flag-Raising Kicks Off Memorial Weekend

Residents, servicemen and servicewomen as well as members of the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Department raised flags over the bridge between Cos Cob and Riverside on Friday night to kick off Memorial Day weekend.

“One thing remains: The price of freedom is constant vigilance, and it’s a veteran we have to thank for this,” said Selectman David Theis, who led the Greenwich ceremony.

Theis was approached by resident Cathy Tobin to start the event, which began this year. It was sponsored by the Masonic Lodge of Greenwich, the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Department and the Greenwich chapter of the Covenant of Care. Volunteers gathered flags and walked them to the bridge to fly for the weekend.

Melinda Mendenhall led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance and roused everyone into “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Several servicemen and servicewomen spoke, including Sgt. Major Caterina Veronesi, who recited “The Soldiers Creed” before singing the National Anthem.

“Our veterans are setting the example in the face of national diplomacy while leaving behind civilian versions of themselves, but not without making great sacrifices for their families, employers and communities,” said Veronesi, an Iraq War veteran. “They are so worn down right now from recurring rapidly paced missions and they deploy again with unresolved issues and inner torment.”

Bruce Winningham of the Greenwich Covenant of Care , a nonprofit group that provides financial and emotional support for families of soldiers, spoke of one of the two servicemen who were welcomed home on the same bridge in December. “Lance Cpl. Joseph Schiano of Riverside died two months later, 20 minutes from his mother’s home in a car crash,” said Winningham. “There are no ways to imagine all the ways a military mother, a military wife and military will need help beyond what the military will give, that’s what we’re here for.”

How are you thanking a veteran this Memorial Day weekend?

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