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State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) speaks to veterans. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Source | Buy This Photo)
From left, State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. (D-12), former Madison first selectman Fillmore McPherson, and Commissioner Sean Connolly smile after McPherson receives his Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Source | Buy This Photo)
Madison resident Donald Rankin receives his Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal from Department of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly as State Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-12) looks on. (Photo by Zoe Roos/The Source | Buy This Photo)
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Dozens of men and women who served in the U.S. military gathered at the American Legion Post in Madison on Oct. 3 to receive the Connecticut Veterans Wartime Service Medal.
More than 50 shoreline veterans attended the ceremony hosted by State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. (D-12), State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101), and Department of Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Sean Connolly, who presented the medals.
The General Assembly established the award in 2005. While many veterans from the war in Afghanistan and Iraq received the medal in their discharge packet, the state has not honored veterans with a wartime service medal since World War I. Veterans from numerous conflicts—from Korea to Vietnam and even World War II—attended the ceremony. Veterans of Vietnam also received a 50th anniversary pin.
Kennedy said the wartime medal is a small way of saying thanks to all of those who fought and sacrificed to protect Americans and the American way of life.
“This is one of the rare pleasures that those of us in elected office get to participate in,” he said. “Recognizing the men and women from our state who have served in our armed forces with such pride and distinction and it is our way, the citizens of Connecticut, to say thank you to the veterans who have preserved the freedoms of our country and allow us to live the lives that we do as Americans.”
Kokoruda said this award is well deserved. Looking at the list of recipients, Kokoruda said it is a who’s who of people who have continued to volunteer and support the community.
“We really honor our veterans here in this community and I know this award is relatively new in the last decade and is well deserved and especially with so much conversation now about our World War II greatest generation and how we are losing them so quickly,” she said. “I know my dad was part of that and we lost him a couple years ago...I know how proud he was of his service and I think a ceremony like this is so fitting and so needed.”
Both Kennedy and Kokoruda also acknowledged the recent passing of Theodore “Ted” J. Aub who was involved the organizing of the event and was an active member of the community.,
“When I think of a veteran and I think of service organizations and when I think of keeping the memory alive of our POWs, I can’t think of anyone other than Ted Aub, who served our town with such distinction,” said Kennedy. “The passion he brought to honoring our veterans was second to none.”
Any veteran who believes he or she may be eligible for the medal may contact Senator Kennedy’s office at 860-240-0455.
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