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Honoring veterans becomes a tradition in Manchester

MANCHESTER – It’s become a tradition in Manchester, for the past four years the Elks Lodge just off Main Street has hosted the “Holiday Veterans Gathering”. Thi...

MANCHESTER – It’s become a tradition in Manchester, for the past four years the Elks Lodge just off Main Street has hosted the “Holiday Veterans Gathering”.

This year about 200 veterans came for the hot lunch and comradery.

Gerry Gallo, the Manchester Elks Lodge Veterans committee chair said, “This is what it’s all about, we have so many people in this room that have provided our freedom for us, this is the least we can do for them.”

The lunch event is sponsored by investment firm Johnson Brunetti and all of the veterans were given a winter jacket, gloves, a knit hat to prepare for the winter ahead.

Bill Miller, a World War II veteran who served in the Coast Guard, was at the event after coming from East Hartford. Miller, who is 96 years old, said, “it’s very nice that the Elks do this for a lot of veterans, I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

Sitting across from Miller at the World War Two veterans table, 97-year old Air Force vet Walther Grunder, from Glastonbury, said “A day like today you see so many vets you haven’t seen all year, it’s great.”