Monday, May 27, 2013
By James Lomuscio
From the reviewing stand in front of Westport Town Hall today, Grand Marshall Leonard Everett Fisher stared out at the seemingly endless parade of first responders, veterans, marching bands and floats, all moving proudly under a crisp, azure morning sky.
The float most dear to Fisher was the Y’s Men’s, not just because he designed it, but for what it represented—a tribute to the more than 56,000 Americans who died in Vietnam.
“It’s a sad day for many many people,” said Fisher, a World War II Army veteran, as he headed to Veterans Green where he would give a speech. “Well, the sun is shining on us, and maybe that’s a good sign, a sign that the world will change, and that it will be better for us than it is.”
His sobering words seemed in stark contrast to the festivities of Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer though it was created to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Scenes from today’s Westport Memorial Day parade. Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Leonard Everett Fisher, grand marshal of this year’s Westport Memorial Day parade and a World War II veteran, said in his Veterans Green speech after the parade that he is deeplly concerned about continuing wars. “Young American lives were and are being terminated and violated by the agonies of war unimaginable,” he said. “There seems to be no end to it. And those of us who returned alive with indelible memories of what we lived through want not more of it for our sons, daughters, grandchildren and beyond. And to those whose responsibility it is to commit our young—our national treasure—to warfare, let them be wary of the anguish.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Stacie Curran of Westport shows her patriotic colors today as she watched the Memorial Day parade on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Lynn U. Miller for WestportNow.com
Westport First Selectmen Gordon Joseloff and Shelly Kassen wave to the crowds today in their eighth and last Memorial Day parade while in office. They are not seeking re-election in November. With them are state Reps. Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com
The 2013 Westport Memorial Day parade got off to a sunny start in 60-degree weather today. The Westport Police Department led marchers across the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge in Westport’s center. Parade organizer Bill Vornkhal said it was one of the biggest crowds watching the parade in his recent memory. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com
In his eighth and final Memorial Day address to the Westport Fire and Westport Volunteer Fire departments, First Selectman Gordon Joseloff today praised the men and women for their service, giving Westport “the best 24/7 protection possible.”
“I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to you all,” Joseloff said. “I want to pay tribute for the hours you put in, the sacrifices you and your families make, and the efforts you put in.
“I can say I have never been more proud of the men and women of Westport’s emergency services,” he added. “As someone who trained with you and worked in the field with you, I know first hand what you go through.”
Noting that he will not run for a third term in November, Joseloff stressed, “I will be out there when I can doing my small part to continue to show my support for you in every way I can.”
After several days of rainy and cool weather, forecasters say today will be a great day for a Memorial Day parade in Westport with clear skies and a high of 68. The Westport Memorial Day parade kicks off at 9 a.m. from in front of Saugatuck Elementary School on Riverside Avenue. View is of flags flying on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, part of the parade route. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Bob Eckman for WestportNow.com
Monday, May 31, 2010
By James Lomuscio
For more than two hours under azure skies, today’s Westport Memorial Day parade seemed replete with the sounds of brass, sirens, horns and cheers from onlookers.
Kim Keehan points out to Malcolm Watson her father’s name on the World War II Honor Roll. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) James Lomuscio for WestportNow.com
More than 64 units of veterans, police, fire, emergency services, town government, social service and school groups wound through downtown Westport as marchers trumpeted the unofficial start of summer.
But despite the despite the festivities, flag waving and shouts of “Happy Memorial Day” from many of the almost 2, 000 in attendance, there was a sense of the bittersweet, a distinct seriousness as the parade passed Veterans Green.
There, the lone World War I Doughboy and the World War II Honor Roll reminded those who paused long enough of the day’s meaning—to honor those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.
Memorial Day parade grand marshals George Marks Sr. (l) and George Marks Jr. embrace at the end of their remarks at today’s Veterans Green ceremony following the parade. It is the first time in the parade’s history that a father and son have served as grand marshals. George Sr., 90, is a Merchant Marine World War II vet, George Jr., 64, is a Vietnam vet. Both also served in the Westport Police Department. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
By James Lomuscio
First Selectman Gordon F.Joseloff: Wars touch Westport “intensely”. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com
War touches everyone and every community when one looks at those who served and who are still serving.
That was the thrust of remarks made today by Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff as he spoke at the memorial service at Veterans Green following the parade that drew thousands to the downtown area.
Surrounded by Bill Vornkahl, president of the Westport Veterans Council and George Marks Sr. and George Marks Jr., the event’s co-Grand Marshals, Joseloff spoke of Westporters who have served and who continue to serve their country in times of war, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice.
“Once again we are gathered to pay tribute to those who fought for our country in many wars, too many wars,” Joseloff said after he thanked Vornkahl for running the event for the past 40 years.
Among dignitaries on the march in today’s Westport Memorial Day parade were (l-r) First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff, state Senator Toni Boucher, state Representative Joe Mioli, and Selectman Shelly Kassen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Helen Klisser During for WestportNow.com