Vermonters honored veterans on Monday at Memorial Day commemorations and parades across the state. In Brandon several hundred people attended services that locals say have been held in the town center for nearly 150 years.
Marching bands from Otter Valley Union High School and Neshobe Elementary School set a patriotic tone, while a local Girl Scout led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Prayers and speeches were said to honor Brandon’s fallen soldiers, and an honor guard fired off a military salute.
One of the sweetest moments came when eight young first grade girls, all dressed in white, left flowers around the town's Civil War monument.
Brandon resident Bill Moore says the laying of the flowers is a tradition that dates back more than a century. Smiling, he says it gets more powerful every year he sees it.
“It’s touching, it’s simple and elegant and a great way to honor our civil war dead,” Moore said.
Retired Naval officer Mike Frankiewicz wiped a tear from his cheek after the mournful echo of taps faded.
“It’s important to remember the dead,” said Frankiewicz, who was a member of the honor guard that provided the military salute at the parade. “To remember those who have fallen, our heroes that made us free. The brave, and we continue that on for the rest of us that are still living and still fighting. That’s what Memorial Day is.”