Memorial Day parade returns to Wilton after two-year hiatus

WILTON — Families lined the sides of Old Ridgefield Road Monday to mark the return of an annual tradition that has not been seen since 2019 — the town’s Memorial Day parade.

American flags flew, neighbors waved and a procession marched north through the town’s downtown on a sunny and warm Monday morning.

Members of the Wilton American Legion Post 86 — the headquarters of which the parade passed — as well as the Wilton Police Department and Wilton Fire Department navigated their way through the downtown area.

Attendees followed the crowd as the trek completed and a congregation formed at Hillside Cemetery for the traditional ceremony — one that was held in 2021 without the accompanying parade — honoring the lives of Wiltonians and beyond who dedicated their lives to the protection of American freedoms.

A sea of American flags lined the cemetery, a practice that this year’s grand marshal, Bing Ventres, said he handled for a number of other nearby cemeteries last week. He said he enjoys taking the responsibility into his own hands and hopes the tradition that he has held near and dear for 34 years gets passed on as something he “wouldn’t want to see go away.”

Second Selectman Joshua Cole offered words of thanks and appreciation Monday while keynote speaker Paul Richards reminded the crowd what Memorial Day is about — remembering and honoring those who served the country.