It started as what appeared to be a press conference.
"Today we're here to announce a partnership between Dartmouth Hitchcock Clinic in the Department of Dermatology and the State of Vermont," said Vermont Senate President John Campbell.
But that was just a rouse.
"That's not really why we are here," Campbell added.
The crowd at Dartmouth Hitchcock came together to celebrate the life of fallen soldier Kevin Sheehan -- and surprise the older sister, Karen, he left behind.
"I'm very surprised. I had no idea this is going to happen," Sheehan said.
Kevin died in combat in Iraq in May of 2004, and since then Karen, who lives in New Hampshire, has wanted a Gold Star license plate for her car. They are given to the parents of fallen soldiers. She helped raise her brother and tried to get a plate from the New Hampshire DMV, but it didn't work out. So a group of Vermont leaders secured an honorary "Gold Star Family" plate to pay tribute to the soldier with Green Mountain roots.
"To be able to put it in your car and have people ask you about who he was or what it means -- it means everything. I want them to be remembered," Sheehan said.
Karen said the 36-year-old had a big heart and who put his family first. "He's gone, but he was a good guy and he worked hard and he loved me and he loved his family," she said.
"Kevin was a wonderful man. He was very much a loving father -- loving spouse. He was very much involved in his community," said Vermont National Guard CW2 Peter Labrie.
Nine years later, it's Karen's community of co-workers and friends who rallied around her to celebrate the life of the brother and American hero she lost. "It's up to us to keep their memories alive -- for those kids -- and he is always in my heart and there is no day that goes by that I don't think of him," Sheehan said.
Nearly a decade after her loss, the Gold Star sister has a new way to remember her brother.
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:21 AM EST2014-03-08 15:21:27 GMT
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries. They were injured while fighting a at the Bennett Farm on Route 15 on the Johnson-Cambridge town line. The fire started in a shed around 7:30 FridayMore >>
Two firefighters are recovering from minor injuries.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:42 GMT
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury. They immediately took to Facebook after hearing about this fire and started planning to collectMore >>
Friends are rallying around families who lost everything in an apartment building fire in St. Johnsbury.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:20 AM EST2014-03-08 15:20:05 GMT
Reporter: "What are some of the most common burn injuries that we see with kids coming into the hospital?" Jim Esdon, Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center: "This time of year, the glass frontedMore >>
We've had another cold week that's left homeowners cranking the heat. But what does that mean for kids' safety?More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 10:19 AM EST2014-03-08 15:19:21 GMT
Armed with just two L rods, 87-year-old John Wayne Blassingame starts looking for water by asking yes or no questions. "Does it go past 20 feet, does it go past 30 feet, yah," he says. The rods crossingMore >>
A national organization based in Danville says it is providing resources to people in desperate need to find water.More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:31 AM EST2014-03-08 13:31:36 GMT
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. His office says Governor Peter Shumlin will be at Brown University in Providence taking part in a forum with the Rhode Island Governor. While theMore >>
The Governor is traveling to Rhode Island Saturday. More >>
Saturday, March 8 2014 8:17 AM EST2014-03-08 13:17:30 GMT
We have some ideas for your Saturday. IRISH FESTIVAL The 19th annual Burlington Irish Heritage Festival kicks off today. There is a lecture about the role of Irish immigrants in the Civil War at theMore >>
Friday, March 7 2014 7:28 PM EST2014-03-08 00:28:44 GMT
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there. More >>
Williston Police say, the powder was from a generic prescription medication. They say, the man was from Burlington and had the paperwork in his pocket with his medicine and that's how it got on there.More >>