Fallen heroes honored
Under overcast skies and 60-degree temperatures the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation Inc. (CFHF) personally remembered six more fallen heroes with portraits and other fine gifts of remembrance at Indian Ledge Park on Saturday, Sept. 29, the day before “Gold Star Mothers and Families Day.”
All total, there were 25 families who lost sons and daughters in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Vietnam under one tent. Each of their loved ones’ names were called at the finale after two dozen white doves were released by children of the fallen; all received a personalized blanket from the foundation.
The ninth annual event was emceed by Miss Teen USA Logan West, as Sen. Blumenthal, Congressman Himes, Lt. Gov. Wyman and First Selectman Tim Herbst all spoke to more than 250 in attendance. A special appearance from the Pentagon by Brig. Gen. William Roy and Lt. Col. Rob Charlesworth also gave a warm feeling to the families gathered, as each was greeted by the officers.
American Legion Cmdr. George Areson represented the lone World War II soldier, Staff Sgt. Vincent Stabile, who gave his life after the D-Day landing in France. Former Trumbull residents and younger brother Ed Stabile and his wife, Maureen, were there to accept the honor and the gifts as well.
The Tony Ferrigno Band performed just before the U.S. Coast Guard Band at the start of the opening of Gold Star ceremony, which lasted about 90 minutes. The closing prayer was given by the mother of U.S. Navy Seal MCPO Brian Bill of Stamford. Food was free, thanks to the foundation, and was catered by Vazzy’s.
The Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation has, unfortunately, personally remembered 39 fallen heroes since 2004 and already has five on board for next year whose families would like to be included. President and founder Mike Mastroni of Trumbull said “It was extremely somber this year, perhaps because four of the soldiers recently were killed just the past two years in Afghanistan.” He added, “There is nothing you can do if the family decides to say a few words; it’s heartbreaking.”
The six fallen heroes remembered this year were Sgt. Steven DeLuzio, Glastonbury; Pfc. Gebrah Noonan, Watertown; Sgt. 1st Class Dae Han Park, Watertown; Sgt. Robert Elia, Shelton; Spc. David Fahey, and Staff Sgt. Vincent Stabile, the Bronx, N.Y. “All gave their lives for our great country and will never be forgotten,” said CFHF Secretary Kelley Mathers.
CFHF has no sponsors and is made up entirely of volunteers who work hard all year raising funds to put on a first-class event and keep it free and open to the public.
To view the video of the event, visit ctfallenhereos.org.