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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 27, 2017, 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 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.gov 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 2017 Wethersfield Memorial Day Committee.

Wethersfield Memorial Day Committee 2017

Pictured seated, front row, is Lee Sekas. Standing, back row, from left to right, are Councilor Anthony Spinella, Board of Education Member John Cascio, Councilor Donna Hemmann, Chairman Larry Spellacy, Councilor Amy Bello, John Console and Sal Cucia. Also on the committee, but missing from the photo, are James Clynch, State Representative Russell Morin, Deputy Fire Chief Brian Schroll, State Senator John Fonfara, State Senator Paul Doyle, Rick Newell and Lt. Thomas Mitney.

Contact Information

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

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

Speaker Thomas Mahar

Commander Thomas M. Mahar, USNR-R

Thomas M. Mahar was born in Albany, New York and graduated from Vicentian High School. He attended Siena College receiving a Bachelor Degree in Economics in 1956. He then attended Ensign Navy Officer Candidate School and served three years active duty aboard the USS Pocono (AGC-16) and taught at the Naval Combat Information Center School. Thereafter he served seventeen years in the active reserve and retired as Commander in 1978.

Mr. Mahar worked at Travelers Insurance from 1960 until 1990 when he retired as Second Vice President, head of Industry Affairs Division. From there he became Chief Operating Officer of B. Perkins & Company. He then worked at the University of Hartford as Executive-In-Residence and as an adjunct member of faculty.

Mr. Mahar has lived in Wethersfield for over 50 years and with his wife Flora, now deceased, raised three children and was married for 53 years. He retired four years ago having served on numerous boards and committees including United Way, Wethersfield Historical Society, Wethersfield Library Board, Incarnation Parish Council, Xavier High School Board of Directors and poll moderator for the Wethersfield Registrars of Voters. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board of Holy Retreat Center, Incarnation Finance Council and volunteers visiting hospice patients for Masonicare and continues to volunteer with the Registrars of Voters at elections and the Historical Society.


Parade Marshals

John Garoppolo

Parade Marshal John Theodore Garoppolo

John Theodore Garoppolo grew up in Stamford and Norwalk, Connecticut, graduating from Norwalk High School in 1951. Upon graduation he joined the U.S. Army and was trained at Camp Gordon in Georgia as a Radio Repair Technician. He received further training at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland as a Radar Repair Technician before being assigned to Fort Dix, New Jersey until 1953. Upon leaving the Army he pursued a vocation in teaching, having worked at Manchester High School for 35 years before retiring. John is married to his wife of 38 years, Patricia Mulcahey Garoppolo. They have four children, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and live in Manchester, Connecticut. John spends much of his time with his service dog Petra, volunteering as a member of St. Bartholomew Church, Lions Club, Unico and Fidelco.


Arthur Warren

Parade Marshal Arthur H. Warren

Arthur H. Warren, one of eleven children, was born in Amherst, Massachusetts and attended Amherst schools. In his junior year of high school at the age of sixteen he joined the Marine Corps on August 10, 1951. After basic training at Sea School in Portsmouth, Virginia, he received further training in Arlington, Virginia where he received a promotion to Marine Private First Class and won the silver badge of Marine Marksman. In 1952 he served as security for the NATO Headquarters in Naples, Italy until 1954. Upon leaving the Marines he worked in various capacities with collegiate and professional football teams, before ultimately working in food service operations and the restaurant business. Arthur, with his service dog, Zeke, spends much of his time following his passions, including football and baseball. Arthur, with his wife Marion Lapham, live in Amherst, Massachusetts.


Flags of Appreciation

In recognition of all veterans, the GFWC/CT of Newington/Wethersfield Womens Club, a member of General Federation of Womens Clubs, will be conducting a "Flags of Appreciation." Those wishing to honor a veteran may purchase a flag that will be placed on the Broad Street Green near the reviewing stand. Each flag will have a laminated tag along with a GFWC ribbon. The front side will give the veteran's name, service branch and date and location of service. Flags will be sold by the club for $10 in "honor of" or "in memory of" any veteran. Questions or additional information may be obtained by contacting Diane Mirebito-Hugh at (860) 788-3415 or e-mail hough_john_c@hotmail.com. Forms are available at the Parks & Recreation office, or you may download the form, fill it out and mail it in with payment. Proceeds will benefit various veterans projects.

Essay Contest

Every year children in 8th grade at the Silas Deane Middle School are asked to write an essay on "What Does Memorial Day Mean To You?"

The Winning Essay

The winning essay this year was written by Sam Logan and will be read at the ceremony held at the cemetery after the parade.

Memorial Day Essay

To many, Memorial Day means a day off from school or a BBQ at your neighbors. However, to myself, Memorial Day is a celebration and a thank you to those who served in our armed forces for our freedoms. It is a day to appreciate those who gave their lives for our country. Every country and every culture has a different way to appreciate the fallen who fought for them. Memorial Day is the American way in doing so. America's history with commemorating the fallen goes all the way back to the revolutionary war when soldiers' tombs would be decorated with flowers. Although, they did not do this on the same date as we do today, they did it for the same purpose. To say thanks and reflect on their sacrifices as well as appreciate the freedoms that they fought for.

My house is in a location where the Memorial Day parade goes by every year. I have set up chairs in my yard each year to watch it. It is a day where the whole community comes together as one. Memorial Day is less a time or place and more of an idea. An idea that represents American and what we stand for. The idea that so many fought for. I hope that you decided to look at Memorial Day as less of a day off and more of a thank you to those who fought for our flag and country.

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

[The Line of March is also available as a PDF document suitable for printing.]

First Division

  1. Lead Motorcycle
  2. Dignitaries - Includes:
    • Lt. Governor
    • Federal, State, Local, Essay Winner
  3. Lt. Gov's Car
  4. Convertible- Dignitaries
  5. Governor's Foot Guard
  6. Fire Department
  7. Fire Dept.
  8. Police Department
  9. National Guard
  10. Disabled American Veterans
  11. American Legion and Auxiliary

Second Division

  1. Wethersfield High School Band, Cheerleaders, Dance
  2. Knights of Columbus
  3. Republican Town Committee
  4. UNICO
  5. Wethersfield Lions Club
  6. National American Miss

Third Division

  1. Colonel John Chester
  2. Red Onion
  3. Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum
    Fifth Connecticut Regiment
  4. Daisies, Brownies, Girl Scouts
  5. Corpus Christi Cheerleaders
  6. Teen Theater

Fourth Division

  1. Banner- MDC Sponsorship
  2. Bulkeley High School Band
  3. Wethersfield Chamber of Commerce
  4. Little League
  5. Historical Society

Fifth Division

  1. Windsor Fife and Drum
  2. Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts
  3. The Chas. C. Hart Seed Co.
  4. Additional Fire Dept. Trucks
  5. Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance
  6. 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 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.