BRISTOL — Governor Ned Lamont was a guest speaker at the Armed Forces Day 2022 luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club on Friday and thanked those who served for their dedication to the country.
The event brought together more than 750 veterans and serving members from every branch of the military as well as local and state leaders. Military vehicles were parked outside the banquet hall at 556 Mulberry St. and a large American flag was displayed from a ladder truck.
Lamont was escorted to the podium by the Color Guard as the 102nd Army Band performed “Three Cheers for the Red, White and Blue”.
The Armed Forces Day luncheon began with an invocation from Chaplain Eric Wismar, who thanked God for each service member’s unique abilities and asked God to give them the strength to “lead all nations on way of justice and peace”.
The Missing Men’s Table Ceremony was then held in recognition of service men and women missing in action or prisoners of war.
Maj. Gen. Francis J. Evon, Jr., adjutant general of the Connecticut National Guard, then thanked the assembled service men and women for their service.
“I sincerely thank you for volunteering to serve your country and to defend and protect this great state of Connecticut,” he said. “Thank you for defending the freedoms granted by the American Constitution.”
Evon Jr. encouraged three WWII veterans in attendance to stand up for recognition and applause, then did the same for the Gold Star families.
Evon Jr. introduced Governor Lamont as “one of our greatest advocates.”
As the Governor took to the podium, he began by talking about his uncle, Thomas William Lamont II, who served aboard the USS Snook in the Pacific Theater of World War II before it was sunk with all 84 crew members on board.
“His sub went missing in the very last weeks of the war,” Lamont said. “It wasn’t until several months later that our family realized what had happened to the submarine. My family talked about it like it just left the room for the next 50 years.
Lamont thanked veterans and service members for standing up to fight for peace and independence.
“Freedom is not free,” he said. “My heart goes out to all of our extraordinary service men and women who provide their service on behalf of this nation.”
Lamont thanked members of the Connecticut National Guard, who he said were the first to say “sign me up” when the state faced an emergency like a bad storm or needed to put in place. a field hospital during the pandemic.
Lamont then reappointed Evon Jr. to serve in his position for four more years. Evon Jr. was applauded by the audience, who he encouraged to cheer for himself. He said serving in the National Guard is a “team sport.”
“Thank you for your faith and trust in me,” said Evon Jr. “We still have a lot to accomplish and we will.”
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.