CARVER – At his first Memorial Day service in Carver, new Veterans Agent Joe Hickey delivered an impactful address on the horrors of war that so many died in the middle of and that others continue to relive.

First, he described what Memorial Day means to him.

“It’s a gathering of us, people, Americans who come out to remember the sacrifice that men and women gave throughout the wars of this country that gave this country what it is,” he said. “That’s what Memorial Day means to me.”

At the same time, he said, the wounds of war are felt by those who return home when the guns fell silent. Hickey was in his office one day when a veteran told him he hadn’t had a good night’s sleep in 50 years.

Hickey said many don’t have a true understanding of post traumatic stress (PTSD), but many return unable to forget. Perhaps it was from the bomb that went off, causing traumatic brain injury, causing them to continue to suffer.

“Post traumatic stress is a remembrance of horrors, of what they witnessed in war,” he said.

Never forget what Memorial Day is about, he said, and that is standing together reflecting on those who lost their lives in sacrifice for others.

Selectmen Chairman Alan Dunham said it’s a day to honor those who laid down their lives so we could have this free country.

“It’s nice to be able to do it on a memorial day, but we should be able to honor their memory and them day after day,” he said. “The best way to do that it to use the liberties that we’ve been given.”

He said people can do this by letting their voices be heard, by speaking their minds, and participating in government to make a difference.

Plymouth County District Attorney Tim Cruz said he was looking out at true Americana as he looked out at the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and others gathered outside Town Hall. The father of an Army Infantry captain, he said he appreciated being in a small town like Carver on Memorial Day.

While a time to remember those who died having served their country, it was also a time to honor sons, daughter and other family members serving in the military today.

Retired Veterans Agent Ken Morrison handed out blue star banners family members could hang in their windows or on their doors to show their support.

Veterans in their uniforms stood in Central Cemetery after the main parade with the Carver High band, the firing squad and others paying tribute to the fallen while Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts placed American flags at soldier’s graves.

It was a day to remember.