The Wethersfield Memorial Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce this year's parade will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2019 beginning at 9 a.m. This year's theme is "Recognizing Gold Star and Blue Star Families." 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Wethersfield Memorial Day Committee 2019
Pictured from left to right: Rick Newell, James Clynch, Salvatore Cucia, Former Mayor Dan Camillieri, Councilor Mary Breton, Councilor Michael Rell. Missing from photo: Paul Doyle, State Representative Russell A. Morin, State Representative John Fonfara, John Ewaski, John Console, Lt. Thomas Mitney, Beverly Olis, Lee Sekas and Deputy Fire Chief Robert Keleher.
For more information about the parade e-mail the committee at email@example.com.
Deceased Veterans Honor Roll
As part of the ceremonies to be held at the Village Cemetery, the committee has compiled a list of veterans from Wethersfield who have died between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019. The committee cordially invites family members and friends to join us on Saturday, May 25th, for the reading of their loved ones names.
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
Speaker F. Mark Granato
F. Mark Granato is a local resident who has lived in Wethersfield since 1960. His long career as a writer, journalist, novelist and communication executive in a U.S. based, multi-national Fortune 50 corporation has provided him with extensive international experience on nearly every continent. Today he is fulfilling a lifetime desire to write and especially to explore the "What if?" questions of history. He has published ten historical fiction novels including Stars in Our Window, a moving account of the trials of a small town family on the home front during WWII; The Long Shadow; This Boy; Unleashed; Out Of Reach: The Day Hartford Hospital Burned; Finding David; The Barn Find; Of Winds and Rage; Beneath His Wings: The Plot to Murder Lindbergh; and Titanic: The Final Voyage. His most recent novel, "The Spirits of Normandy" is scheduled to be released this May, 2019. Mark is married to Bobbi Hughes Granato and they raised two children in town. They have three grandchildren.
This year the Parade Committee is honoring Gold Star and Blue Star Family Members. Listed below are those to whom we would like to say "thank you."
Parade Marshal - Gold Star Family Member - Susan Sullivan Gioco of Wethersfield
Susan Sullivan Gioco is a life-long resident of Wethersfield. She is a member of the American Legion Bourne-Keeney Post Unit 23 for 43 years. Her uncle, Corporal Douglas Gilbert, 20, was a radio gunner on a B-24 Liberator, and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Gilbert of 6 Station Road, Wethersfield. He was killed in action September 2, 1944 in the Palau Islands. A graduate of Wethersfield High School in 1941, he entered the service in February, 1943, and went overseas in July of 1944. Before entering the service, he was employed by the State Department of Health.
Parade Marshal(s) - Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers-CT3
The Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers-CT3 is a Veteran Service organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and made up of mothers who have or have had children serving our country in the military. The Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers-CT Chapter 3 has formed here in the state to honor and serve our troops, our veterans, the mothers of our military and also to promote patriotism at home. Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers-CT3 has a rich history of service to the military and their families. The Middlesex County chapter is affiliated with Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. The chapter continues to send care packages to deployed soldiers, have a presence at sends-offs and welcome homes for units being deployed and have representatives at both the Newington VA and the West Haven VA to which they donate toward Veteran needs. Recently they purchased baby items and donated them to women Veterans involved with Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program. In support of our Gold Star Mothers and families, its Blue to Gold program lends support to Connecticut's fallen soldiers' families. In the past few years Middlesex County Blue Star Mothers-CT3 has participated in and lent support to Wreaths Across America programs and participates in Wreath laying ceremonies across Connecticut and at Arlington National Cemetery each December. The chapter's mothers participate in sewing quilts to donate to Quilts of Valor. Blue Star Mothers take an active part in parades and ceremonies in our local communities which provides outlets for the chapter to remain committed to honoring service of past and present military and highlighting the role and sacrifices families make. They offer a scholarship to all high school seniors in Connecticut who have a parent who served or is serving in the military.
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 Essays
This year two winning essays were chosen. The winners are Annie Hart and Isabelle Berube,
Memorial Day Essay by Annie Hart
During Memorial Day, people all throughout the United States come together to celebrate those who have courageously fought for our country and our freedom. These soldiers dedicated their lives to America, and in turn gave up their privileges so that we could have ours. Most people go through their everyday lives not thinking about these privileges, but on Memorial Day, all of America is reminded of the most valuable privileges: freedom and safety. Our country's battlefield warriors fearlessly risk their lives to maintain the freedom and liberty in America. Our army, as strong as an ox, assures our safety. They stand strong and endeavor so that we can live our everyday lives knowing that we are safe.
But this all comes back to the question, what does Memorial Day mean to me? I believe that Memorial Day is the most important holiday. It not only commemorates our fallen heroes, but also praises the freedom those soldiers provided. I also believe that the dedication of the army to America is like the glue to our country. Our soldiers fight to keep our country together as a whole, and not leave any pieces behind. A perfect demonstration of this dedication is stated by Nathan Hale. He said, "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." This devotion to our country is what we remember and appreciate on Memorial day, and it shows how much America meant to these soldiers.
In conclusion, Memorial Day reminds us how much our freedom and safety is worth, and remembers the many soldiers that gave up their lives to assure we had those privileges.
Memorial Day Essay by Isabelle Berube
Memorial Day is of the utmost importance to the citizens of the United States of America because of the liberty that it holds. American citizens only hold the freedom that they are promised since birth, because of the bravery and persistence of the men and women involved in the U.S. Military. In better words, this holiday is more than a dedication to those courageous soldiers, but it means to me something more; it promises hope, it promises freedom, it promises life. Furthermore, in 1776, this phrase was written, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." The Declaration of Independence clearly states what these soldiers continue to strive for. Life, where you can exist not only free, but in a safe place; liberty, an area where you can express your deepest feelings, and feel compelled to connect with others; and the pursuit of happiness, to live in true bliss, and have the freedom to do so. To conclude, for me, Memorial Day continues to remind me of how fortunate I am in my everyday life, similar to the clothes on my back or the food on my plate; it not only expresses why I truly love America but the respect and gratitude that I will forever hold for the men and women who fight every day for our freedom.
Sixth Grade Artwork Project
In cooperation with the Board of Education and as part of their Sixth Grade art classes for the elementary schools in Wethersfield, students were be asked to design a poster of "What Memorial Day Means to Me." The posters are displayed on this web site and in the Town Council Chambers during the month of May.
Flags of Appreciation
In recognition of all veterans, the GFWC/CT of Newington/Wethersfield Womens Club, a member of the General Federation of Womens Clubs, will be displaying a "Flags of Appreciation" to honor our veterans. A series of flags will be displayed in front of the Hurlburt-Dunham house at 212 Main Street during the parade as a thank you to all our Veterans and members of our Armed Forces.
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.]
- Lead Motorcycles
- US Naval Reserve Color Guard
- Parade Marshal—Gold Star
- Parade Marshal—Blue Star
- Dignitaries—Includes Federal, State, Local, Essay Winner
- Convertibles (2) for Ciotto/Camillieri
- Colonel John Chester
- Police Department
- Fire Department
- Fire Dept. Apparatus
- National Guard
- American Legion
- American Legion Auxiliary
- Wethersfield High School Band, Cheerleaders, Dance
- Knights of Columbus
- Republican Town Committee
- Wethersfield Lions Club
- Wethersfield Chamber of Commerce
- Hubbard Society Old Wethersfield
- Red Onion
- Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum Fifth Connecticut Regiment
- Daisies, Brownies, Girl Scouts
- Banner—MDC Sponsor
- Windsor Fife and Drum
- Weth. Soccer
- Corpus Christi Cheerleaders
- Watertown Flag Bearer
- Little League
- Teen Theater
- Wethersfield Woman for Progress
- Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts
- Corps Material
- Antique Cars
- Fire Trucks
- Wethersfield Volunteer Ambulance
- 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.