All photos Jarret Liotta

Thousands of people came out on a sparkling, sunny Memorial Day morning on Monday to celebrate a community holiday and to pay respect to those military men and women killed in the line of duty.

The annual parade kicked off from the Goodwives Shopping Center, continuing southwest along the Post Road, ending at Hecker Avenue, by the library.

A service, featuring a symbolic wreath laying, music, a military honor guard, and readings, then took place at the Veteran’s Cemetery.

“This kind of service is the most fitting tribute I can think of to pay to those whose sacrifices we honor today,” said Darien High School English teacher Matt Pavia, the keynote speaker.

He shared about a book he recently co-wrote with his father, Tony Pavia, entitled An American Town and the Vietnam War: Stories of Service from Stamford, Connecticut. He recounted details of the lives of the 29 men from Stamford killed in that war, based on a multitude of interviews with their families over the last few years.

“As tragic as those losses were … each of these families took comfort that their loved ones had served their country,” he said.

“Today we remember and honor those who, when serving causes larger than themselves, paid a dear price,” he said.