Memorial Day Parade salutes Wilton heroes
Wiltonians of all ages are invited to “Salute Our Heroes” at the Memorial Day parade and remembrance ceremony on Monday, May 28. The parade steps off from 21 River Road at 10 a.m. and then proceeds through Wilton Center.
There will be veterans, bagpipers, military vehicles, antique cars, emergency vehicles, dignitaries, Scout troops, the Wilton High School band, and marchers representing local organizations and sports teams.
After a stop at the Veterans Memorial Green, the parade will make its way up Ridgefield Road to Hillside Cemetery for a memorial service that is expected to start around 11. Parade chairman Jim Newton, a former Marine, will offer a few opening remarks.
The Wilton High School Band will play the national anthem, after which First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice will read a proclamation and parade grand marshal George Onlgey, who served in the Navy during World War II, will be introduced.
This year’s keynote speaker is Tom Moore, adjutant at Wilton’s American Legion Post 86 and an Army veteran who served during the Cold War. (See stories on page 1C.)
Hannah Mikia, a student at Wilton High School, will sing America the Beautiful. After a wreath is laid, the names of Wilton veterans who died this past year will be read. As the names are read, a bell will be tolled for each one. Hannah will then sing God Bless America.
The Rev. Shannon White of Wilton Presbyterian Church will offer the benediction, followed by Amazing Grace, performed by bagpiper Drew Kennedy. Newton will close the ceremony after the playing of taps by the Wilton High School bugler.
Should inclement weather force cancellation of the parade, the remembrance ceremony will be held at 10:30 at Wilton Congregational Church, 70 Ridgefield Road. An announcement will be made on The Bulletin’s website, wiltonbulletin.com, and by emergency email alert, which people may sign up for on the town website, wiltonct.org.
Dial-A-Ride vans will be stationed at Wilton Congregational Church to take seniors and those with disabilities to the Hillside ceremony. There will be a pickup area at Wilton Congregational Church for parents picking up their children and for those not continuing to Hillside. The church will be giving out water.
River Road will be closed to traffic beginning at 9:45, and Ridgefield Road at Drum Hill Road and Belden Hill Road will be closed as well.
Those planning on marching should gather at the back of the Kimco parking lot behind Stop & Shop. Everyone needs to register and sign in.
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.
Checks may be made out to the “Memorial Day Parade Fund” and mailed to Memorial Day 2017 Parade Fund, P.O. Box 75, Wilton CT 06897.