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Gov. Malloy Lauds State's 1st Living War Memorial [VIDEO]

Middletown's Veterans Park is the future site of the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial, where each of the 63 armed services members who lost their lives in Afghanistan or Iraq will be honored with a plaque.

Calling it an “inspired idea, a way to honor in a living fashion, in a growing fashion, those that have made the ultimate sacrifice,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy applauded the Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial group for its choice of the city’s . This will be the state’s first memorial to Connecticut’s armed service men and women who died in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Glastonbury Gold Star Mother Diane DeLuzio, whose son Steven, a 25-year-old sergeant in the Vermont National Guard killed in Afghanistan Aug. 22, 2010, joined Middletown Mayor Daniel T. Drew, state Reps. Matthew Lesser (D-100), (D-33) and Christie Carpino (R-32), state (R-13), Common Council members, representatives from American Legion Post 75 and Larry McHugh, president of the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, for the announcement.

“I’ve only been governor for a very short period of time, but during that time, I’ve been called upon on behalf of the people of Connecticut to express our sympathies to families that have lost a loved one,” Malloy said.

“Nancy Wyman, the lieutenant governor, and I have attended a number of funerals, made a number of calls to parents who might live in the state and in each and every one of those instances, our hearts go out to the families that are left to grieve their fallen hero,” Malloy said.

The CT Trees of Honor Memorial will encompass a designed space that will include a shade tree planted for each of the state’s 63 military heroes, including 22-year-old Army Specialist Richard Charlton Emmons III of North Granby, who gave their lives serving in Iraq and Afghanistan during Operation New Dawn, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. 

Mayor Drew said he was thrilled with the project and how it will in a permanent way "show respect for the men and women that served our country and who fell in service for their country deserve here in a park that was dedicated originally for veterans and their deeds — what Abraham Lincoln called ‘the last full measure of devotion.’”

A personalized plaque will be displayed next to each tree, and it will also feature walkways, flower gardens, benches, flagpoles, statues and lighting.

It will be paid for with private donations. The City of Middletown will construct a pond in the center of the memorial.

McHugh said on behalf of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce, he would donate the first $1,000.

The Connecticut Trees of Honor Memorial Inc. Committee is pleased to announce plans to construct a living trees memorial in central Connecticut in 2012. The Memorial will encompass a beautifully designed space that will include a shade tree planted for each of the state's heroes who gave their life serving in OEF, OIF, and OND.

It will be a serene, reflective area where families, friends, and visitors can be reminded of the valiant courage, bravery, and self-less sacrifice of Connecticut men and women who gave their lives in military service to this country.

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