Several people gathered at the Stratford Veterans of Foreign Wars Club House to honor the fallen, whether in combat or later in life. Those brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. Although that is what Memorial Day is about, living veterans were also recognized, but those humble protectors said that the lost are the true heroes.
The Bornbach brothers were part of those recognized for their service. All six of them, Alvin, Orville, David, James, Jarold and Eugene stepped up to serve. Some of the brothers were lucky and had a more pleasant experience.
"It was like a pleasure cruise for me. Yeah we stopped at different countries. I didn't have any fear or nothing because I never was in the war. And I feel kind of bad about it," said David.
Bad because he knows others sacrificed their lives to protect; his older brother Alvin was almost among them.
"I got a bullet in the mouth. Went in here, went through my tougne, smashed my whole jaw, but I don't remember hitting the ground, I remember when it hit me though," said Alvin.
He received the National Defense Service Metal, the Purple Heart, and Foreign Service Metal. Like many other soldiers in combat, it's a time that's difficult for him to talk about.
"I lost a buddy over there. Never came back. We went over together. I better quit talking about that," he said.
That's exactly what brought the Bornbach brothers and so many others to the VFW Club House.
"They're the ones that are the heros, not us," Alvin said.
Three names were added to a stone of Stratford and Auburndale service members killed in action. New stones were also laid to commemorate the service of both the living and the deceased veterans. Cindy Zvolena's mother and father both have a stone there. Her father who served in WWII passed last year, making Memorial Day that much more meaningful.
"People think of this as a day for picnics and a day off and a day to just go and goof around and that's fine," she said, "but you should spend part of your day just thinking about and remembering the vets."
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