Since The Saybrook at Haddam opened our doors, we have welcomed dozens of military veterans to our community. Some of these men and women served during World War II, the Korean War, or in Vietnam; others during peacetime. We owe a debt of gratitude to each of them and to every person who stands up to defend our nation and protect our freedoms. This is why we are proud to look for small and large ways to say “thank you” to all veterans in our lives.
Today, in fact, The Saybrook at Haddam is traveling with a group of veterans and family members down to the Nautilus Museum in Groton, Conn., for a very special “Honor and Remember” event. This ceremony, which is hosted annually by VITAS Innovative Hospice Care, pays respect for Connecticut military veterans, past and present, and serves as a memorial to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We appreciate the opportunity to be part of this tradition of highlighting the legacy, service, and sacrifice of all veterans to the country.
Additionally, we commissioned a local artist, Kristin Haddad, to create our own “Veterans Honor Wall” which is nearly complete. This tribute, titled “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” prominently features a painting of the American flag with our national emblem and a soldier standing in salute. The mural will eventually include a plaque from each branch of service (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard), each featuring the names of veteran residents from The Saybrook at Haddam. Stay tuned for details on our dedication ceremony!
On a regular basis, we host special veterans’ social events at The Saybrook at Haddam for residents, families and community members. These events are meant to be an opportunity to share memories of time in the service, discuss some of our country’s history, offer thanks, and build friendships. Each time we host these events, we are heartened by the spirit of the men and women who attend, and we are glad to offer small recognition.
In the past, one resident was honored at our community by the remarkable Quilts of Valor organization. We all gathered to watch this emotional ceremony, learn more about the special people who choose to live at The Saybrook at Haddam, and, again, offer thanks. We cannot seem to do that enough. (Please note that the Quilts of Valor Foundation is always seeking volunteer quilters and welcomes suggestions of quilt recipients.)
We look for other little ways to honor and respect veterans and their families in our daily activities at The Saybrook at Haddam. We often screen historical films and documentaries that focus on different battles or times of war; we have many books and magazines in our libraries that about military history; we host book clubs and discussion groups that oftentimes take on an historical or military theme. Residents always seem to learn something from these activities – and from fellow residents – which is one of our important goals!
We welcome any veteran of any age (or current service member) to visit our community to meet and talk with fellow veterans. The National Veteran’s Association reports that there is tremendous value and therapeutic benefits when vets gather and share their stories. We see this here on a regular basis and encourage it anytime!
For us, coming together on national days of remembrance such as Veterans’ Day or Memorial Day is important to do to show respect for those who served. We make a special point, however, to go one or two steps further and find ways to extend a hand and offer our gratitude when it is not expected.
For a private tour of The Saybrook at Haddam or its Safe Harbor memory care neighborhood, please fill out the form below or contact David Downey at 860-345-3779.