Parades, ceremonies to mark Memorial Day

A M-551 Sheridan tank that saw combat action during the Vietnam War makes its way up Church Street during Naugatuck’s Memorial Day parade last year. –FILE PHOTO

A M-551 Sheridan tank that saw combat action during the Vietnam War makes its way up Church Street during Naugatuck’s Memorial Day parade last year. –FILE PHOTO

Naugatuck, Prospect and Beacon Falls will commemorate Memorial Day this weekend.

Naugatuck’s annual Memorial Day parade will step off, rain or shine, Monday at 9:15 a.m. on North Main Street. The parade heads downtown to Town Hall on Church Street for a ceremony.

The parade will be highlighted by a fly-over by C-130 aircraft. The planes will be guided over Church Street by Naugatuck native and radio controller retired Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Robert Tuckey.

The Connecticut National Guard 143rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion will lead the parade’s military contingents. Joining them will be elements of the Second Battalion, 98th Division and the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion, along with elements of two re-enactment groups: the 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery Regiment (Union) and The First Maryland Infantry Regiment (Confederate).

An M-551 Sheridan tank that saw extensive combat action during the Vietnam War will also be featured in the parade.

Marching units in Divisions 1 through 4 will assemble at 8:45 a.m. on North Main Street, in the vicinity of Union and Woodbine streets. Marchers are advised that the former Cumberland Farms location is undergoing extensive construction and is unavailable as a rendezvous point for this year’s marchers. Divisions 5 and 6 — middle- and elementary-school age athletic groups — as well as all karate and dance groups will assemble in the parking lot of St. Mary’s Church, 338 North Main St. These groups will join the parade as it passes the parking area.

Naugatuck Veterans Council Chairman John Debisschop urged all groups to take part in the parade. He asked that all parade units carry signs or banners identifying their organizations.

For more information, call Kathleen Doback at (203) 729-3100.

The Knights of Columbus and the Catholic War Veterans will begin the day with a Memorial Day Remembrance Mass.

The mass is at 8 a.m. at St. James Cemetery on Cross Street. Everyone is welcome to attend and celebrate mass. In case of rain, mass will be held at St. Vincent Ferrer Church on New Haven Road.

Prospect’s annual Memorial Day parade will begin at 1 p.m. sharp on Monday on the Town Green on Center Street.

The parade heads past Town Hall on Route 69, turns onto Old Schoolhouse Road then onto Route 68. The parade then goes into Prospect Cemetery where American Legion Post 194 will hold a brief ceremony, including a wreath laying. The names of all the veterans who passed away this year will also be read.

Prospect Mayor Robert Chatfield said anybody who wants to participate in the parade needs be in front of the Grange on Center Street between 12:15 and 12:30 p.m.

The VFW Post 8075 will provide hotdogs, hamburgers and beverages after the parade.

“I want to thank the American Legion for decorating the graves of veterans in the cemetery and the fire department for decorating the firefighters’ graves, ladies auxiliary’s graves, and dispatchers’ graves in the cemetery,” Chatfield said.

Beacon Falls will mark Memorial Day on Sunday.

American Legion Post 25 and Beacon Hose Company No. 1 will each host a ceremony.

Beacon Hose will conduct a Memorial Day ceremony at 10:30 a.m. outside of the firehouse along with representatives of the Post. All veterans are invited to attend.

Church services will be held at Beacon Falls Congregational at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church. Poppies will be handed out before each service.

The American Legion will host a ceremony at Veterans Park at 12:30 p.m. along with local and state dignitaries.

Legion Commander Bruce Carlson said the legion worked with local Boy Scouts to refurbish the flag pole in front of Pines Bridge Cemetery and dedicated it in memory of all the veterans buried there.