Monday, May 29, 2006
Art Reale, grand marshal for today’s parade, reflects on Westport during a ceremony at Veterans Green. He stands below the Doughboy Monument, which honors World War I veterans, and Reale said the statue reminded him of his father. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com
Standing below the Doughboy Monument today, Art Reale said how he felt like his father was looking down on him.
Reale was today’s grand marshal for the annual Westport Memorial Day Parade.
He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and his ship was torpedoed during a trip back to Pearl Harbor on June 21, 1945.
“My father’s name is up there,” Reale said of the statue honoring World War I veterans on Veterans Green. “I feel like he’s looking down on me from the doughboy.”
Reale said he appreciates all that there is to living in Westport because the community is compassionate, loving, forward-looking and always wants to help.
“Westport people have an instinct to help, and I am proud to be a part of that,” he said.
He said he was honored to be the grand marshal of today’s parade, a designation he never anticipated or felt he deserved.
“The highest honor I had was to spend four years in the Navy for a country that shows compassion, love and tried to do good,” he said.
Soldiers fight to protect what the United States is about, he said, like the freedom of speech and privacy.
“That’s why we’re in Iraq,” he said. “The keep what we cherish. You also need to fight the battle here. You need to keep appraised of everything and do what Westport does best. You have to debate everything.”
Posted 05/29/06 at 03:50 PM Permalink