FARMINGTON — Brotherhood that can transcend years and wars through service was the message at a Veterans Day ceremony held Wednesday afternoon at the cemetery on Red Schoolhouse Road in Farmington.

The event was attended by area veterans and community members to thank those who have served the United States and commemorate the restoration of the cemetery where Revolutionary War and Civil War veterans are buried.

“(Veterans) share a camaraderie that transcends the different wars we fought — each aware to some degree of each other’s story,” said Dick Matthews, a Vietnam War veteran. “It’s the sharing of an extraordinary experience.

“We all seek such connections.”

The 1 p.m. ceremony was sponsored by Roderick Crosby American Legion Post 28 and Wal-Mart, which worked together to restore the cemetery on Red Schoolhouse Road, which is directly behind the department store. Sen. Thomas Saviello, R-Wilton, led the ceremony and dedication of the cemetery. Local historian Paul Mills was the guest speaker.

The Legion Color Guard began the ceremony by raising the flag in the cemetery, as bagpipers led the march to the flagpole. After the flag raising, the national anthem was sung and the Emblem Club presented a flag-folding ceremony.

Several veterans were acknowledged during the event, one of whom, Saviello said, was “unfortunately not properly recognized” when his service ended.

World War II veteran Raymond Adams, of Jay, was formally presented a Silver Star medal by Saviello on Wednesday afternoon, more than 50 years after his active-duty service ended.

“Keeping veterans recognized is something that takes constant awareness,” said Glenn Kapiloff, president of the Franklin County Camber of Commerce, before presenting American Legion Post 28 member Charles Bennett with a citizen recognition award for his support of local veterans.

“It’s just part of being a veteran,” Bennett said as he accepted his award.

Bennett thanked those local businesses and community members who helped the Legion and Wal-Mart with the cemetery restoration work, which began in June and was completed last week. On Wednesday afternoon, the cemetery was prim and clean, and in the crowd it was easy to forget that six months earlier the graves of those in the cemetery had been barely visible from the road.

Since then the cemetery has been cleared of fallen trees and brush, several of its gravestones have been reset and a new fence, flagpole, and bench have been added.

Certificates of appreciation were given to businesses that helped with the restoration, such as the Farmington Farmer’s Union, which provided the grass seed for the cemetery’s new lawn, and Aubuchon Hardware, which contributed the flagpole and the flag that presided over Wednesday’s ceremony at the cemetery.

Mills noted that in Farmington’s 20 cemeteries, the majority of veteran graves are of 20th-century origin, but in the cemetery on Red Schoolhouse Road, the graves date back to the Civil and Revolutionary wars. Mills said the cemetery restoration is a way for Farmington to acknowledge the service of all veterans, regardless of what year or what war they served in.

“As we look back at this magnificent act of preservation and perpetuation for the future as well as the past, we can experience and pay tribute to those dedicated veterans who have found their final resting place here,” Mills said.

Lauren Abbate — 861-9252

[email protected]

Twitter: @Lauren_M_Abbate

 

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