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Wethersfield's monument honoring servicemen who have sacrificed their lives in defense of our country.

Introduction

The Memorial Day Committee is pleased to announce its plans for the annual Memorial Day Parade and Services. The parade will be held this year on Saturday, May 23, 2015, and will kick off at 9 a.m. If you or an organization you are a member of would like to participate in this year's parade contact us today.

The information on this web site highlights the day's activities being planned which includes the ceremonies held following the parade. Photos of the 2014 parade are linked to from the table of contents above.

The committee is looking for a few volunteers this year to help during the parade. If you would like to volunteer at the parade, please contact us at memorial.day@wethersfieldct.com or feel free to call the Parks and Recreation Department at (860) 721-2890.

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

The 2014 Wethersfield Memorial Day Committee.

Wethersfield Memorial Day Committee 2014

Pictured from left to right, seated front row are Councilor Michael Rell; Dan Camillieri; Sal Cucia; Lee Sekas. Standing, back row, left to right are John Console; James Clynch and Chairman Larry Spellacy. Also on the committee but missing from the photo are Board of Education member John Cascio; Lt. Donald Crabtree; Councilor Gerri Roberts; Steve Hesse; State Representative Russell Morin; Deputy Fire Chief Brian Schroll; State Senator John Fonfara; State Senator Paul Doyle and Dr. Kenneth Sokolowski.

Contact Information

For more information about the parade e-mail the committee at memorial.day@wethersfieldct.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 memorial.day@wethersfieldct.com.

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

Commissioner Sean M. Connolly began his service with the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs on March 16, 2015. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, currently serving with the 655th Regional Support Group headquartered at Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts. An East Hartford native, Commissioner Connolly returned home to Connecticut in 2010, joining Pratt & Whitney, first as Assistant Counsel supporting the Military Engines Division and most recently serving as Pratt & Whitney's Global Ethics and Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Pratt & Whitney, he was a Senior Associate at Greenberg Traurig, LLP in Washington, D.C. as a member of the Government Contracts and Homeland Security Practice Groups.

Commissioner Connolly also previously served on active duty for over seven years as an Army Judge Advocate in a variety of positions, most recently as a Trial Attorney with the Contract and Fiscal Law Division of the U.S. Army Legal Services Agency, litigating government contract disputes, defending bid protests, and advising on procurement fraud actions. He also previously served as Assistant Legal Advisor and Executive Officer for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Office of the Appointing Authority for Military Commissions. A Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Commissioner Connolly served as a Prosecutor and Brigade Legal Advisor with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and in Kuwait and Iraq, where he was responsible for trying all courts-martial, non-judicial punishment, elimination boards, and administrative separation actions for two brigades and advising on operational and administrative law matters.

His military awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He is also entitled to wear the Air Assault Badge and the Office of the Secretary of Defense Identification Badge.

Commissioner Connolly is married to Carol A. Connolly, Esq. and they have two boys, Sean (8) and Brendan (6) and their rescue puppy, Lucky.


Parade Marshal

Essay Contest

The Wethersfield Memorial Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce the winner of the Essay Contest. Children in 8th grade at the Silas Deane Middle School participated in the event. This year, in recognition of all veterans students were asked to write an essay on "What Does Memorial Day Mean to You?" The winning essay will be read at this year's Memorial Day Ceremony following the parade. The winning essay was submitted by Jared Kauffman.

The Winning Essay

The Winning Essay by Jared Kauffman

For many people Memorial Day is just another day off from work from school, or a day to sleep in and relax. However, for myself, it's a day for something different. Memorial Day is a time to reflect: it's a time to realize how far we've come after being a small union of 13 colonies. It's a time to ponder how great America is and that many people love this country so much that they've laid down their lives, in order to raise our wonderful 50 starred and 13 striped flag in other countries to help gain freedom. For me as a kid and a teen, hearing that 21 gun salute, or seeing a soldier with my eyes, or knowing that I had a relative in the military, gave me the courage and the wonderful feeling that only a fictional super hero from a movie could have. Driving past a veterans hospital gets me thinking, "I wonder what stories they have to tell? I would be so intrigued to listen to them!" Memorial Day puts a smile on my face that is wider than the Grand Canyon, makes my hair stand up from excitement that is taller than the Redwood Forest trees, and makes me want to lay down my life just to fight for my beautiful country and the best nation in the world. Memorial Day is a day to reflect, to remember the history of America, and finally, it's a day to never forget that without those men and women who gave up their lives just to protect another one's life and for their country, we would have never come so far as we've come now. The memories of those men' and women who've paid the ultimate price for their country will never be forgotten.

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

First Division

  1. Lead Motorcycle
  2. Dignitaries - Includes:
    1. Governor/ Lt. Governor
    2. Federal/ State/ Local/ Essay Winner
  3. Gov/Lt. Governor's Car
  4. Convertible - Dignitaries
  5. Governor's Foot Guard (possibly 1 car)
  6. Fire Department
  7. Fire Department (3 trucks, 1 command vehicle)
  8. Police Department
  9. National Guard
  10. Disabled American Veterans (1-2 cars)
  11. American Legion and Auxiliary (1-2 cars)

Second Division

  1. Wethersfield HS Band/ Cheerleaders/ Dance
  2. Knights of Columbus
  3. Republican Town Committee
  4. Wethersfield George Ritchie Soccer
  5. UNICO (4 cars)

Third Division

  1. Colonel John Chester
  2. Red Onion
  3. Webb Deane-Stevens Museum - Fifth Connecticut Regiment
  4. Daisies/ Brownies/ Girl Scouts
  5. Winding Brook 4-H Club (truck or trailer)

Fourth Division

  1. Banner - MDC Sponsorship
  2. Bulkeley High School Band
  3. Wethersfield Chamber of Commerce (1 car)
  4. Little League
  5. Gravers Tree Service (truck and trailer)
  6. Historical Society
  7. Antique Cars

Fifth Division

  1. Windsor Fife and Drum
  2. Highcrest School
  3. Cub Scouts/ Boy Scouts
  4. Military Trucks
  5. Additional Fire Department Trucks
  6. Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance
  7. Meadowgate Farms (horses)
  8. Banner - Invite Cemetery

Parade Route

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.

Memorial Day Parade Route

Parking

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.

Street Closings

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)

Rain Plans

In the event of inclement weather, the ceremonies will be moved indoors to the Webb School at 51 Willow Street 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.

Memorial Day 2014 Photo Gallery