Letter: Our veterans memorial is a special place

To the Editors:

For those of you who have driven or walked into town and have not visited the Veterans Memorial Green, you are missing a very special place of emotion, serenity and gratitude.

Almost every time I go into town, I walk through, I give a salute to the flag and sit for a moment and think of the soldiers whose names are inscribed on the granite pillars and I get emotional. I get a strong feeling of connection with those that are named. To me, the memorial is a place of serenity.

The people I have met there, especially the younger generation, always have questions and all appreciate the fact that this was created. Most say it is a tranquil place to stop and air out for a few quiet moments.

A little about the memorial:

Back in 2008 our first selectman, Bill Brennan, wanted to place an impressive flagpole and flag at the entrance to our town. Don Klotz, life member of American Legion Post 86, had an idea of a veterans memorial, so Don and Ann Klotz and I took the idea to the selectman’s office and two years later, with the help and support of many, Wilton had this beautiful memorial at the entrance to our town. I say beautiful because it is, filled with seasonal flowers and plantings thanks to the efforts and contribution in the beginning to Nick Lee, and the continuous plantings and maintenance by the Wilton Garden Club. I especially want to thank Suzanne Knutson and Linda Scmidt for their continuous efforts in keeping the site weed-free and beautiful.

Every Veterans Day Wilton’s James B Whipple American Legion Post 86 holds its Veterans Day ceremony at the memorial. We had a nice turnout of local veterans this year and much support from local townspeople. I was unable to attend this year’s ceremony because of health reasons but I knew my troops were in good hands with Post 86 Finance Officer Alex Ruskewich in command. Our lead speaker this year was Torie Clancy, newest member and first female veteran to join Post 86. The event was a huge success and I want to thank everyone for their participation.

I want to thank Frank (Chip) Gawle for providing us with the lovely singer, Caitlin Witty, and trumpeters Elliot Connors and Jordan Reichgut from the Wilton High School music department. Chip is always there for us.

Thank you to our bagpiper, Drew Kennedy, and the Wilton Police Department for leading the procession from Wilton Library to the memorial.

I would like to also thank the Village Market for its continuous support year after year for all of our events.

Hope to see you all Memorial Day 2015.

If you are a veteran and have an interest in joining the post, please contact me, dhazz44@hotmail.com, visit our website, post86legion.org, or, we meet the second Tuesday of every month. Come down and join us.

Don Hazzard, Commander

James B. Whipple

American Legion Post 86

Wilton, Nov. 17