NORTH ADAMS -- Army First Sgt. Jason F. Civello spoke through a persistent drizzle Monday to a gathering of several dozen people huddled beneath umbrellas at the city's Veterans Memorial.
Civello, a veteran who served in Bosnia and Afghanistan and a recipient of the Bronze Star, had a clear Memorial Day message: Take a moment to remember the nation's fallen men and women.
Civello, who served tours in Afghanistan in 2005 and 2011, said visiting the region's cemeteries is enough to clearly show that Berkshire County "has done its part" to preserve freedom. The speaker said Northern Berkshire understands the importance of military service, and he described his family's lineage of veterans. His brother, Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Civello, served as master of the ceremonies.
"I grew up right in Cheshire Harbor; I know what the Greylock Ramble is, and I know the rivalry between Hoosac Valley and Drury [High School], and I know what a hot dog tastes like from Jack's," Jason Civello said. "Believe me, those are the things you think about when you're far away from home."
It's important to remember the servicemen and women, Civello said, "as our brothers and our sisters who never made it home."
"We must recognize the millions and millions of missed kisses goodbye ... and millions and millions of lost hugs goodnight," Civello said.
Mayor Richard Alcombright echoed those sentiments, and noted the importance of imparting a remembrance of fallen soldiers in the young.
"It is so important that our young people remember, and keep these ceremonies alive and well for so many years to come," Alcombright said.