AVON – Two Avon families received special thanks this memorial day for the service of their sons, both of whom were killed in action in Vietnam.
VFW and American Legion member Ray Skinner researched the entire lives of Army Sgt. Paul Richard Fusco and Sgt. Edwin ‘Ed’ Francis Upright of the U.S. Marine Corps and shared their legacy with over 100 Avon residents.
“I just felt that these two guys should be recognized,” said Skinner. “It’s the 50th anniversary [of the Vietnam War], a good spot to do it. And I thought it was necessary for the families, especially the Fusco family, well both of them actually, the Upright family, to hear some things and to have people know what went on in their lives and about their sons.”
Avon was without a Memorial Day parade this year due to rain, but the entire parade and spectators packed into Avon Middle School to hear Skinner deliver honors to the Fusco and Upright families.
“You know, I had started to get skeptical about how much Memorial Day meant to people as we move along in time and get the three-day weekend and what not and mattress sales and car sales and so forth,” said Skinner. “But I’ve realized that today and every year in Avon, and I look around the country, people do remember the people who’ve fallen in the past and the wounded and so forth. They remember what it’s about and they show up and they take it seriously.”