NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – City officials, veterans and their families gathered for two wreath-laying ceremonies on Sunday. 

The ceremonies were held to honor fallen service members. 

“Whether or not they were or were not in combat, the greatness of this nation is based upon people stepping up and taking that oath to serve is incredibly important to remember,” said Lt. Col. Thomas Saadi, the former Commissioner of Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs. 

Saadi was the main speaker at the event. He said the wreaths send a message to those celebrating the holiday weekend outside.

“It communicates a message to people walking by a monument that this monument is not just a piece of stone with names, or a brass plaque, those are lives,” he said. 

The wreaths were placed on the World War I memorial in the middle of the green. Mayor Justin Elicker also mad remarks. 

“There are a lot of New Haven residents that we’ve lost over many years to war that served our country,” he said. “Just imagine losing a family member to war, that individual stepped up to give their life on behalf on all of us today.”

Another ceremony happened at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on Long Wharf Drive earlier in the day. 

New Haven held its Memorial Day Events on Sunday but there are several parades across the state, including West Hartford, Hamden, Glastonbury and Madison.  

As families celebrate Memorial Day and the beautiful weather, officials said it’s important to remember those who paid the price for freedom.

“Enjoy life and live laugh and also remember those who sacrificed their lives so we could be here today,” said Saadi. 

There are a number of memorial day parades happening on Monday, click here for a full list.