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Vermonters pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermonters pay tribute to those who served and sacrificed

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RANDOLPH, Vt. -

Those who served their country but are no longer with us are remembered Friday in Randolph with flowers and tears.

Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as previous generations referred to it, used to be held May 30 every year. The shift in the late 1960s to hold the holiday on the last Monday of the month doesn't stop Vermonters from remembering the fallen again on the original date.

"That those who fell in battle are remembered. They have fought for us; our duty is to fight to make sure that they are never forgotten," said Col. Michael Heston, Vermont's deputy adjutant general.

That message resonates with Candice Rice of Stockbridge. She came to honor her parents who are buried here at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

"My husband was in Vietnam, I have two children in the military now, and it means a lot," Rice said.

"This Memorial Day is particularly emotional for me," said Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont.

The governor lost his father, who served in World War II, earlier this year. In his speech, Shumlin called for greater commitment to caring for vets when they return home.

Sen. Bernie Sanders is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and echoed those remarks.

"As a nation we have got to fully appreciate how real, how significant, how painful, the cost of war is," said Sanders, I-Vermont.

Those whose loved ones paid the ultimate price say the yearly remembrance is a fitting and moving salute.

Memorial Day's roots reach back to the Civil War. Early ceremonies only covered those who lost their lives in the war, but has since expanded to cover anyone who served and is no longer with us.

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