Tridia Hospice hosted a special recognition luncheon for resident veterans of Austinburg Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Monday.
Some 18 residents were honored during the luncheon receiving a certificate and lapel pin.
Among the veterans honored was Brooks Wright. Brooks received special recognition Monday. He was presented with his Army Good Conduct Medal, Marksmanship Badge and Mechanics Badge.
Certificates were presented by Tracy Johnson, U.S. Navy Veteran, Tim Dibble, U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Disabled American Veterans, and Tom Lucas Jr., U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Ashtabula County Veteran Service Commission.
Veterans honored were: Sherwood Swick, Rene Levesque, Rodney Young, Andrew Dragon, John King, Norman D’Agostino, Archie MacMillian, Paul Nizen, Dwayne Clark, Billy Hipps, Lawrence Hayes, Henry Jason, Wallace Drake, Floyd Hurley, Claude “Brooks” Wright, Stanley Wojcik, Peter Feddish and Stanford Rohrig.
“Let us not forget,” Armand Carlucci, a World War II veteran, said repeatedly at Conneaut’s ceremony, held at the veterans’ memorial adjacent to City Hall.
Carlucci, who served in the Pacific theater, was the ceremony’s guest speaker. He mentioned many of the Conneaut residents who died in conflicts over the decades, including brothers James and William Lord Jr., both killed in World War II. Carlucci said he couldn’t image the anguish of parents received two of the “dreaded telegrams.”
He also spoke of Joseph Guarino, a WW II paratrooper killed in combat. Carlucci said he recalled seeing Guarino’s “heartbroken” mother crying over her son’s grave at St. Joseph Cemetery.
“I was lucky,” Carlucci said. “I returned. But a lot did not.”
An estimated crowd of 50 people also heard veteran Michelle Hall provide a definition of a veteran (someone who writes a check redeemable “up to and including their lives”); Rick Gleason, who shared the veterans’ oath; and Nicholas Church, who read a piece entitled “It Is The Soldier.”
“It is the soldier, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag,” Church said.
Chris Brecht read a community “thank you” to local veterans, whom he dubbed role-models and heroes.
“If people say there are no heroes, they are looking for them in the wrong places,” he said. “They sit across the kitchen table from us. They have given so much and have been given so little.”
Wreaths were laid at the base of the memorial by a handful of veterans. Also participating in the observance was the Conneaut High School Marching Band and honor and color guards from the city’s American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts. Richard Gleason served as master of ceremonies.
A flag retirement ceremony was held immediately after the City Hall event at Conneaut’s American Legion Hall.