The tradition is "manning the rails" — a show of respect practiced by the U.S. Navy when rendering honors.
For United States Air Force veteran Patrick Petersen, the tradition was a sign of respect and admiration that his fellow employees at Pratt & Whitney's North Berwick, Maine facility extended after he returned home from duty.
Workers at North Berwick have been extending such honor to all their veteran co-workers since 2011. The event provides a chance to show a collective admiration for the sacrifices made by Petersen and every UTC employee that has served his or her country in the military.
"The plant really comes together when something like this occurs," said Scott Theriault, who is on the North Berwick Veteran's Council.
"It sounds corny," Petersen concluded, "but the reason I serve is so we can keep the fight over there. It's like coming home; it’s family here."