Editorial: Honoring service

Veterans Day has special meaning this year in Wilton.

In addition to the annual parade where we have the opportunity to pay tribute to our veterans, here and around the world, we have had one Wilton veteran honored by the French government, with another to be similarly honored.

And, to mark the upcoming 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I, Jean-Pierre Lavielle will give a talk on Monday evening at Wilton Library. In a fitting cap to these events, Chris Brubeck brings his masterful Brothers in Arts concert to the Clune Center on Sunday, Nov. 15. There are stories about each of these events in this week’s Bulletin.

Led by American Legion Post 86, veterans will march Wednesday morning through Wilton Center to the Veterans Memorial Green. Commander Don Hazzard, a veteran of the Vietnam War, will be the keynote speaker, marking the 50th anniversary of American troops landing in that country. Afterwards, the community is invited to visit with veterans at the post on Old Ridgefield Road over coffee and donuts, while some will visit with students at Middlebrook and Wilton High schools.

Tomorrow, Nov. 6, Trygve Hansen will join the late Charles Baffo as Wilton’s honorees of the Croix de Chevalier dans l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur, so recognized by the French government for their acts of heroism in aiding France during World War II. Hansen will receive his medal at a ceremony in New York City.

On Monday, just before Veterans Day, Lavielle will discuss how America became involved in what was then known as The Great War. HIs talk at the library is a precursor to what is planned as a series on World War I. In addition, a hero — unnamed — from World War II will make a special appearance.

Finally, Chris Brubeck makes Wilton’s final connection with France when he and French musician Guillaume Saint-James present Brothers in Arts, a musical tour de force based on a connection their fathers shared during World War II. The concert is at the Clune Center, and promises to be both moving and entertaining. The two appeared two years ago in a jazz concert at Wilton Library that rocked the house.

When World War I took place, it was called the War to End All Wars. We know that did not prove to be true. After the war ended —  at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, Nov. 11 was known as Armistice Day, later to become Veterans Day. It is a day to honor all living veterans, in and out of uniform.

So please, at some point on Wednesday, take a moment to remember — and if you can thank in person — the veterans who have served our country.