'Closest thing I will get to honoring them': Veterans honored in ceremonies across New England
Veterans, their family members and other western Massachusetts residents gathered in parks and cemeteries across the region Thursday for ceremonies marking Veterans Day.
John Millard attended an event in Northampton's Pulaski Park. He said he served four years in the Coast Guard in Vietnam and enjoyed putting on the uniform.
“I was a young guy coming from Northampton here, never saw the ocean too much,” Millard said. “So I was on the ship first and then after I finished my tour in Vietnam, I ended up doing search and rescue for two years. You had to go out, but you didn't have to come back. That was the motto back then.”
Some in the crowd, like Harel Broderick, paid tribute to veterans in their families who are no longer alive.
“I never got to meet most of the veterans in my family. So I couldn't really go to Veterans Day things with them. And whenever I go to events like these, I feel like that's the only way ... the closest thing I will get to honoring them,” Broderick said.
Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz said the city is still combatting veteran homelessness, but has re-housed over 500 veterans in the last few years.