NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Memorial Day in New Britain came to an end Monday with a parade along city streets to honor and celebrate fallen soldiers.
Dozens of groups, performers, and bands marched in the parade along Broad and Main Streets.
"We've been coming to the Memorial Day Parade for my birthday pretty much every year," East Berlin's Catherine Shatos said. "It's a fun time to come out."
While the event draws hundreds in to enjoy the celebration, why they come is different for everyone.
Shatos says Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for her.
"I think of my grandpa," she said. "I think of people who have passed who have thought for our country and died for a country."
10-year-old Aubree Miano said it's a family tradition to come to the parade.
"It's supposed to represent the ones who have died and not the ones who are alive," she said.
Don Naples spent 30 years in the Coast Guard. The New Britain veteran and former parade grand marshal says the day is about reflection for him.
"It’s certainly not a happy Memorial Day. When people say that, it bothers me," he said. "It's a time to look back and remember a lot of friends that you had."
He said being in the parade is part of giving back. Navy veteran Don Adams has been giving back in the parade for nearly two decades.
"It should mean that we honor the men and women who have fallen in wars," the False Alamers member said. "I’ve had a lot of friends that either didn’t make it or had troubles once they got out of it so we kinda try to remember them at this time of year."
The long weekend is also a time for families to teach their kids about why they have freedom and how they got it. Shatos says she taught her four-year-old daughter Memorial Day is for those who died fighting for the United States.
The Girl Scouts of Connecticut New Britain chapter has walked in the parade for almost 10 years.
"To me, I think it’s just knowing that somebody laid down their life for me. Just the sacrifices that they made for us," Madelene Cameron said.
Cameron said they teach the scouts the importance of respecting the military as well as other people.
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