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Veterans Honored at Jerome Home/Arbor Rose Ceremony

November 15, 2021

Veterans were recognized Nov. 11 at Jerome Home/Arbor Rose in New Britain during a Veterans Day remembrance with gratitude for the men and women who served this country.

Retired Lt. Col. John Hinrichs led the ceremony with the Junior Reserve Training Corps (JROTC) New Britain Color Guard, presenting the colors during the ceremony.

“It is wonderful having a gathering post-COVID to honor over 20 veterans for their service,” said Lori Toombs, Arbor Rose’s executive director, in the opening remarks. “Thank you all for your service.”

Each member of the community was recognized by name and military affiliation by Donna Valente, activities director at Arbor Rose, and Jenna Sweet, life enrichment director and volunteer coordinator at Jerome Home, with a certificate and a tri-color, five-point star ribbon. Alexander Pierro, 105, was among the veterans recognized.

“It is an absolute honor to be here today,” said Petty Officer James T. Nelson. “I speak from the heart, not because I have to and not because I was ordered to, but because I want to. Don’t take for granted who you are. You are a veteran every day, 365 days. We are one, big military family. I salute you.”

Another figure that played an important role at the ceremony was the missing man table.

Retired Lt. Col. LTC John Hinrichs informed the audience about the missing-man table, round to show everlasting concern. A white cloth symbolizes pure intention to service. A single red rose is a reminder of the lives lost and loved ones keeping faith. A yellow ribbon symbolizes continued uncertainty. A slice of lemon symbolizes bitter fate. A pinch of salt symbolizes the tears shed. A lit candle reflects the hope for return. A bible reflects the strength gained through faith found under God. An inverted glass symbolizes a person’s inability to share a toast. The chair is empty to symbolize those who are missing.

Honored veterans included:

  • Richard Anderson, Navy
  • Robert Angelo, Army
  • Edward Brady, Army
  • Philip DeConti, Army
  • Charles Dempsey, Army
  • Bruce Ellison, Army
  • Ronald Edman, Army
  • Donald Erickson, Marines
  • James Fowble, Air Force
  • Bernard Gaffney, Army
  • Leonard Giza, Air Force
  • Frank Grandone, Army
  • Dean Goldsmith, Army
  • Graham Hall, Army
  • Gerald Kalb, Army
  • Gerald King, Navy
  • Johnathan Kraus, Navy
  • Kenneth Leslie, Navy
  • Michael O’Connor, Air Force
  • Alexander Pierro, Air Force
  • Gene Sarra, Army
  • Romero St. Pierre- Signal Corp
  • Robert Wallace, Navy
  • William Walsh, Army

For more information, contact Jenna Sweet, life enrichment director and volunteer coordinator, at 860.356.8236.

Jerome Home, affiliated with Hartford HealthCare Senior Services, is at 975 Corbin Ave. in New Britain. Jerome Home offers skilled nursing, inpatient/outpatient rehabilitation, residential care, memory care and assisted living. Arbor Rose, located on the Jerome Home campus, offers independent and assisted living with memory care. For more information about Arbor Rose and Jerome Home, click here.