NEW BRITAIN – The city will again be commemorating Memorial Day in a traditional way starting this morning with ceremonies at several monuments and ending the day with a parade.
“To veterans, May 30 is the real Memorial Day,” said Sandy Keefe, the city’s Veterans Affairs Clerk. “No matter what day of the week it is, we honor Memorial Day on May 30.”
The day will kick off at 8 a.m. with a ceremony at the General John Patterson monument at 1130 East St. A contingent of veterans, city officials, including police, local clergy and the Marine Corps League will travel to 10 monuments throughout the morning and early afternoon to honor veterans who lost their lives while serving.
Ceremonies will be held at the Spanish-American War monument and Vietnam Memorial at Willow Brook Park, the Sherrod Skinner Memorial on Corbin Avenue, the World War I monument at Walnut Hill Park and the General Casimir Pulaski Monument and General Tadeusz Kosciuszko Monument on Burritt Street this morning. Mayor Erin Stewart will speak at the ceremony at the Civil War, World War II, Korean and Vietnam Memorials at Central Park at 11 a.m.
Ceremonies will be held for the first time at the newly dedicated monument for the Borinqueneers 65th Infantry Regiment at 246 Beaver St. at 11:30 a.m. followed by ceremonies at the Belvidere Area World War II Memorial at 11:50 a.m. and the Captain Brian S. Letendre U.S.M.C. Memorial at 12:15 p.m.
The annual Memorial Day parade kicks off at 6 p.m. on Broad Street and marches to the reviewing stand on Main Street. The parade will feature marching bands, civic groups, police, firefighters, and entertainment including a magician in the area of the reviewing stand.
This year’s Grand Marshal will be Peter Spano, a 92-year-old Navy veteran who served during WWII. “I think it’s an honor to be Grand Marshal,” Spano said. “I don’t know how many World War II veterans are left.”
This year’s honorary Grand Marshal will be 95-year-old John Roman.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.