Local towns are planning parades, services, and music, and an aircraft flyover for Memorial Day weekend in honor of the men and women who died in military service. The following is a summery of events planned in Naugatuck, Prospect, and Beacon Falls.
Gov. Dannel Malloy will lead veterans and dignitaries in Naugatuck’s Memorial Day Parade, starting at 9:15 from North Main Street in Union City.
World War II Navy veteran William Wright will be the parade Grand Marshall, representing the American Armed Forces. Wright was serving on the carrier USS Belleau Wood when it was struck by a Japanese Kamikaze plane of the coast of Leyte, in the Philippines in October 1944.
The parade will include a fly-over by the 103rd Airlift Wing, and several local marching bands including the Naugatuck High School and City Hill Middle School marching bands.
The parade will mark the 70th anniversary of the Japanese air strike on Pearl Harbor and the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War. The 2nd Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery and 1st Maryland Infantry Regiment will participate in the commemoration.
Marquis Bernad-Alexis de Menars, from Paris, will represent the French Government and Retired Army Major Robert Burns from Nova Scotia will represent the Canadian Armed Forces during the ceremonies.
Parade participants will gather at Union City at 8:45 a.m.
Active military and police, veterans and veteran auxiliaries, ROTC, fire fighters, civil and fraternal organizations, scouts and youth groups will form on North Main Street. Elementary and middle school athletic teams, karate groups, and dance groups will assemble in the parking lot behind St. Mary’s Church. All participants are asked to carry signs or banners identifying their organizations.
Naugatuck’s 142nd Medical Company of the Connecticut National Guard will lead participating military contingents including marching units from the Naval Operational Support Center, the 1st Marine Corp District, the 395th Supply and Service Company, and the 439th Quartermaster Battalion.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars will hold a rifle salute and taps on May 30 from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on the Town Green. Rifle squads from the Naugatuck Veterans Council will provide rifle volleys and taps at the town’s war memorials and cemeteries. They will gather at the Naugatuck Elks for breakfast at 6:30 a.m.
After the parade, a gathering will be held at the VFW Post 1946, 239 Rubber Ave., from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Everyone is invited.
Food donations are welcome. The VFW Post 1946 will also host a Memorial Day service on Sunday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m.
For information about the parade, call Stanley Borusiewicz at (203) 704-0969 or Mrs. Doback at (203) 729-3100.
In honor of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, this year’s Memorial Day ceremony will have a Civil War theme.
According to Mayor Robert Chatfield, the town of Prospect gave more men in the Civil War per capita than any other Connecticut town. The reason why, Chatfield said, many other towns have streets and parks named Prospect. The state of Connecticut gave Prospect a Civil War Monument in 1906 in recognition Prospect soldiers who fought in the Civil War, Chatfield said.
Three musical groups will perform during the parade and ceremony—St. Peter’s Drum Corps, Mattatuck Drum Corps and Waterbury Pipes and Drums.
An actor portraying Abraham Lincoln will recite the Gettysburg Address on the Town Green.
The parade will begin at 1 p.m. starting at the Town Green and heading down Route 69, turning left on Old Schoolhouse Road and continuing on to Union City Road. There will be a short ceremony in the cemetery before returning to the Green. Around 2:15 p.m. there will be a ceremony in front of the Civil War Monument.
Prospect’s sports organizations, civic organizations, fire department, American Legion Post 194 and VFW Post 8075 are among those taking part in the parade. Those participating in the parade should meet at the Grange at 12:30 p.m. Chatfield is also looking for about 20 volunteers to carry a 20-by-30 foot American flag. Those interested should contact Town Hall.
The Schaeffer-Fischer Post 25 Beacon Falls and American Legion will hold their annual Memorial Day service at Veteran’s Park on May 29. The public is invited to attend. Post members are asked to be there by 12:15 p.m. Local dignitaries and scouts will attend the ceremony. The families of four departed legionnaires will place a wreath at the based of the flagpole.
Poppies will be distributed after all masses that weekend and after the ceremony. For more information call Bruce Carlson at (203) 723-6936.