The 2016 Memorial Day Parade was held on Saturday, May 28, 2016. This page is being kept intact as a reminder of the events of the day. You may also wish to view the 2016 Memorial Day Parade Photo Gallery.
- The Parade Committee is once again requesting financial contributions for the parade activities this year. We need your support! Any contribution will be deeply appreciated. Information can be obtained from and contributions made to:
- Town of Wethersfield - Memorial Day Parade
- c/o Parks and Recreation Department
- 505 Silas Deane Highway
- Wethersfield, CT 06109
The Memorial Day Committee would like to encourage all residents, spectators and residents living along the parade route to demonstrate their support for the veterans and our country by displaying the American Flag during the parade.
Larry Spellacy, Chairman
Wethersfield Memorial Day Committee 2016
Pictured from left to right, seated front row Lee Sekas; second row Salvatore Cucia and Dan Camillieri; back row Councilor Anthony Spinella, Lt. Donald Crabtree, Chair Larry Spellacy, John Console, James Clynch and State Representative Russell Morin. Also on the committee but missing from the photo are Board of Education member John Cascio, Councilor Amy Bello, Councilor Donna Hemmann, State Representative Paul Doyle, State Senator John Fonfara, Rick Newell, Deputy Fire Chief Brian Schroll, and Kenneth Sokolowski.
For more information about the parade e-mail the committee at email@example.com or feel free to contact Larry Spellacy at (860) 529-7135.
Sponsorship / Support
The Memorial Day Parade Committee would like to thank the Wethersfield business community, organizations and volunteers who have given their support and who are helping to make this year's event memorable. If you would like to consider the sponsorship of a band or helping us in any manner, please contact the parade committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Memorial Day Ceremonies
At the conclusion of the parade, a Memorial Day Ceremony will be held at the Village Cemetery on Marsh Street. Guest speakers and parade guests commemorate the day.
Memorial Day Address Speaker
Ron Werlich was born in 1950 and has lived in the Hartford area his entire life. He graduated in 1968 from East Hartford High and enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1969 and became a Staff Sergeant. In 1973 he was discharged and worked for Pratt and Whitney. He also worked for Travelers, United Healthcare and Xerox. He's a life member of the Disabled American Veterans serving as State Commander in 2013-14. Presently he is serving as State Treasurer. He is also a member of the Italian American War Veterans, serving as State Adjutant since 2012 and Quartermaster since 2013.
Rick Newell was born on Nov. 6, 1948. After high school in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, Rick joined the Marine Corps in 1967. He served in Vietnam in 1968 were he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. Upon being discharged Rick worked for the Post Office from 1971 until his retirement in 1986. He was active in the VFW from 1975 to 1995 serving as Post Commander for Post 6123 in Windsor Locks, 3rd District Commander, Dept. Chief of Staff, Dept. Surgeon and 3rd District JA for 10 years. From 1984 to 1989 he appointed by then Governor O'Neil as a trustee at Rocky Hill Veterans Home and HospitaI. In 1993 he was hired by the DAV as a HSC and Transportation Coordinator. While there he transported many veterans and drove 150,000 miles and accumulated 20,000 volunteer hours at Newington VA. He has held various positions in the DAV State Commander in 2005 and was a National Executive Committee member. Currently he is the Dept Service Director. He also served as Vice President of Vets Who Care Committee and from 2001 until now is the State Commander of the Italian American War Veterans. Rick is a lifetime member of the DAV, VFW, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Marine Corps League and The Italian American War Veterans. He is also a member of The American Legion, Sons of Italy, Amvets and the Moose. In 2005 he was inducted in the State Veterans Hall of Fame by then Governor Rell. Rick lives in Wethersfield with his wife Jessica and has three children and several grand-children.
Gaetano G. Patrizzi
Gaetano Patrizzi was born in Hartford, CT in 1929 and moved Wethersfield in 1938 where he attended local schools and graduated from Wethersfield High School in 1947. Following graduation he went to work for what was then named, Aetna Life Insurance Company. In March 1951 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Camp Gordon in Augusta, GA for basic training and then assigned to attend radio operator school at the same base. Upon graduation from the school in January, 1952, he received orders for deployment to the Far East Command, eventually ending up in Korea and assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. He served nine months in a combat zone in Korea and was awarded the Korean Service Medal W/1 Bronze Service Star, the United Nations Service Medal, and the Combat Infantry Men's Badge. Upon arriving home in mid-January, 1953 he returned to Aetna where he spent a total of 39 years of service. In 1954 he married his wife Doris and they are the proud parents of four children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. He's a member of the Benevolent Protective Order Elks where he served as Exalted Ruler of the local lodge, and as President of the Connecticut Elks Association, which represents all the lodges in the state. He is also a member of the VFW and the local chapter of Unico National. Currently he and his wife are enjoying their retirement watching their grandchildren grow into young adults.
Every year children in 8th grade at the Silas Deane Middle School are asked to write and to write an essay on "What Does Memorial Day Mean To You?" The winning essay was submitted by Abbey Riberio and will be read at the ceremony at the cemetery at the end of the parade.
The Winning Essay
The Winning Essay, by Abbey Riberio
What does Memorial Day mean to you? While most adolescents my age see the day as a means just to get out of school, I see it as a time to remember the men and women who have fought to keep us safe on the other side of the world. As we go on with our daily lives, these people are fighting for their lives and ours. Memorial Day is the day that was specifically made to say ''Thank You" to these brave people. When I think of Memorial Day, I don't think of a day where I can just sleep in and not have to worry about the fourth period homework that I forgot was due; I think of the American flag standing tall, and all of the people who had fought to keep it in place. Late at night, I sometimes go into the back of my mind and imagine what it would be like if I was the one with a loaded gun on the battlefield. Even if I was armed, I would still be terrified at the constant smell of death lurking overhead. To the people who are able to pull the trigger without any fear, I salute you. Memorial Day is also a day of remembrance. A few years ago, I was walking in the Memorial Day Parade with my Girl Scout troop. As we passed a church, I noticed that in the graveyard behind the church, multiple flags were planted in the ground. Each marked a fallen hero who had served in some war. It made me realize how many people actually don't come back overseas each year. While visiting a loved one who had died in war is melancholic, it is also happy. Memorial Day is not only a means of remembrance, but it is also a bittersweet send off for the ones we have lost. By celebrating Memorial Day, we are celebrating heroes. We are thanking them, comforting them, supporting them. When we host Memorial Day, it tells troops that what they are doing isn't a lost cause and that we are grateful for their services. Whether they are alive, or have passed on; wherever these heroes are, they know that because they risked everything, their sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.
Information for Marchers
All marchers are reminded to begin arriving at the line of march beginning at 8:15 a.m. Marchers will be lined up on the grassy area between the DMV and the Solomon Welles House. Vehicles and floats will be lined up in the DMV parking lot and on State Street. Beginning at 8:30 a.m. only parade traffic will be allowed from Hartford Avenue to State Street. Shortly before the parade is to begin traffic will be closed off on State Street from both directions and access to the line of march by vehicle will be prohibited.
Parking at the Department of Motor Vehicles will be for those marching only. Those who are simply dropping off individuals who are marching are asked to drop individuals off and then proceed to exit. Buses and trailers will be directed to the rear parking lot of the DMV.
The line of march is posted below. It is subject to change.
At the conclusion of the parade, all participants are invited to the ceremony at the Village Cemetery on Marsh Street.
Line of March
- Lead Motorcycle
- Dignitaries - Includes:
- Lt. Govenor
- Federal, State, Local, Essay Winner
- Lt. Gov's Car
- Convertible- Dignitaries
- Governor's Foot Guard
- Police Department
- Fire Department
- Fire Dept.
- National Guard
- Disabled American Veterans
- American Legion and Auxiliary
- Wethersfield High School Band, Cheerleaders, Dance
- Knights of Columbus
- Republican Town Committee
- Wethersfield George Ritchie Soccer
- Professional Nurses Association
- Cycling Without Age
- Colonel John Chester
- Red Onion
- Webb-Deane-Stevens - Museum Fifth Connecticut Regiment
- Daisies, Brownies, Girl Scouts
- Winding Brook 4-H Club
- Madres Latinas Wethersfield
- Teen Theater
- Banner- MDC Sponsorship
- Bulkeley High School Band
- Wethersfield Chamber of Commerce
- Little League
- Gravers Tree Service
- Historical Society
- Antique Cars
- Newington / Wethersfield Women's Club
- Team Suzy Q
- Windsor Fife and Drum
- Highcrest School
- Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts
- Military Trucks
- Additional Fire Dept. Trucks
- Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance
- Meadowgate Farms
- Banner - Invite Cemetery
The parade will step off at 9 a.m. and will head west on State Street to Nott Street then to Garden Street. It will then proceed down Garden Street, left onto Church Street and then right onto Main Street. The parade will continue on Main Street, then take a left back onto Garden Street to Broad Street. The Reviewing Stand will be on the Broad Street Green. We will then proceed north on Broad Street and cross Marsh Street to the Village Cemetery (behind First Church) for the cemetery services.
Parking for spectators will be available throughout the parade route. Spectators may also park on any residential street not marked by "no parking" signs. Parking for marchers will be available at the Department of Motor Vehicle on State Street rear lot. The rear parking lot of the DMV will also be available for buses to park during the parade.
Below is a list of street closings and approximate times they will be closed. (All times listed below are approximate.)
- State Street (entire length) — 8:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
- Nott Street (from Garden Street to State Street) — 9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
- Garden Street (from Nott Street to Church Street) — 9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.
- Church Street (from Garden Street to Main Street) — 9:15 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Main Street (from Church Street to Garden Street) — 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
- Garden Street (from Main Street to Broad Street) — 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.
- Broad Street (west side, from Garden Street north to Marsh Street) — 9:45 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
- Marsh Street (from Main Street to Broad Street) — 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
In addition, the following streets will be posted with temporary "No Parking" signs:
- State Street: From Hartford Avenue to the west driveway of DMV — both sides
- Nott Street: Around monument island at Hartford Avenue and Nott Street; from Hartford Avenue to Garden Street — both sides
- Garden Street: From Nott Street to Church Street — both sides
- Church Street: From Garden Street to Main Street — both sides
- Garden Street: From Main Street to Broad Street — both sides
- Broad Street: From Garden Street to Marsh Street — both sides
- Nott Street/State Street intersection
- Nott Street: Between State Street and Garden — both sides
- Main Street: From Church Street to Garden Street — both sides (Saturday morning only)
In the event of inclement weather, the ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Wethersfield High School Auditorium, 411 Wolcott Hill Road, and will begin at 9 a.m. The latest parade information will be announced on WTIC radio station after 8 a.m. and on the Parks and Recreation Department program information line at (860) 721-2890. Information about postponement will be announced on WTIC-FM (96.5) after 8 a.m. and on the Wethersfield Parks & Recreation Information Line at (860) 721-2890. An announcement will also be posted in the announcements area of the home page of the town web site.