Memorial Day parade will ‘honor and remember’ veterans
Residents and community members will honor and celebrate Wilton veterans during the town’s annual Memorial Day parade on Monday, May 25, sponsored by the James B. Whipple American Legion Post 86.
“‘Honor and Remember’ is the slogan for this year’s parade, and it will kick off at 10 a.m. from the Executive Campus [on River Road],” said Raymond Tobiassen, United States Marine Corps veteran and chair of the parade committee.
River Road will be closed to traffic beginning at 9:45 a.m., and Ridgefield Road at Drum Hill Road and Belden Hill Road will be closed as well.
Grand Marshal George Voss and keynote speaker Jack Majesky, both veterans of the U.S. Navy, will lead the parade along Old Ridgefield Road, past American Legion Post 86 and the memorial at the gazebo.
Around 50 or 60 organizations will participate in this year’s parade, said Tobiassen, who hopes for “great weather” and lots of veteran participation.
“We had a 95-year-old Air Force colonel call to make sure he had a vehicle to ride on,” he said. “We want as many veterans as we possibly can to participate.”
Marchers, dignitaries, a marching band, bagpipers, military vehicles, antique cars, floats, ponies, and emergency vehicles will continue to the Veterans Memorial Green, where they will salute the granite pillars inscribed with the names of Wiltonians who gave their lives in conflicts.
They will then turn up Ridgefield Road, continue past Old Town Hall and Wilton Congregational Church and make their way to Hillside Cemetery, where there will be an 11 a.m. ceremony for those who have died in service to their country.
The Rev. Arnold Thomas, of Wilton Congregational Church, will be this year’s chaplain.
Dial-A-Ride vans will be stationed at Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road, to take seniors and those with disabilities to the Hillside ceremony.
Marchers and parade watchers who choose not to travel on to the cemetery are asked to wait for the parade to pass before making their way back to Wilton Center.
In the event of bad weather, the ceremony will take place inside Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road.
The Memorial Day parade and parade committee are independent of the town and receive no municipal funds.
The committee relies on private donations to pay its expenses, including hiring the bagpipers and purchasing banners and flags. Each year, the committee places flags on the 400 military graves in Wilton.
Donations may be addressed to the Wilton Memorial Day Parade Committee, P.O. Box 75, Wilton CT 06897.