75 years later, a Memorial Day tradition continues in Vergennes, Vermont.
Monday afternoon, Vermont’s biggest Memorial Day parade continued in the state’s smallest city, with hundreds of families and veterans alike coming to Vergennes to celebrate the tradition.
The theme and motto of this year’s parade was ‘Honoring and remembering all who served’, and that includes a number of people who were there to watch it. Some veterans in the crowd told us they’ve been coming to watch Vergennes’ annual Memorial Day parade for decades now, with some even traveling from states away to see it.
A few veterans we caught up with said Memorial Day is not only about honoring and remembering those who served and sacrificed, but also passing the lesson down to younger generations.
“I think it’s important that we have our kids and grandkids here, because if they were not involved in a war, it’s important for them to understand the sacrifices that were made for them,” said Chuck Bechtel, a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 36 years.
“It’s really special that we can support our soldiers that are no longer here, and we lost quite a few in Kuwait,” said Doris Laramee, a veteran who served for 32 years.
“This holiday is very important because of the soldiers that I went overseas with,” said Marcel Laramee, a Vietnam veteran who served for 45 years. “The soldiers I went over with, about 45 of them come out of Middlebury.”
The parade was a mile-and-a-half long, starting at Vergennes Union High School and ending at the City Green. It started at 11 a.m. and lasted roughly one hour.