Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Gov. M. Jodi Rell today urged Connecticut residents to submit nominations for the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame.
�This Hall will be a creative and lasting way to pay tribute to the brave men and women of Connecticut who have served in our armed forces and continued to serve their communities after discharge,� Rell said.
�With just a month left to submit nominations, I am asking Connecticut residents to take a few minutes to think about who should be honored in this fashion and send us their stories. Feel free to nominate a family member, a longtime friend, or a neighbor down the street.
�Essentially, the Veterans Hall of Fame is a way for us to simply say thank you to Connecticut heroes. Our veterans have demonstrated bravery and courage not only in defense of freedom but in service to their communities and the people of Connecticut.
By Gov. M. Jodi RellSpecial to WestportNow
Gov. M. Jodi Rell: Announces open house day June 11. Contriibuted photoTourism is a $10 billion industry in Connecticut. In 2004, about 15 million people visited our historical sites, coastline, art exhibits, theaters, quaint towns and villages, museums, galleries and gardens.
I want Connecticut residents to become familiar with the very treasures that out-of-staters are discovering every day. That�s why I am pleased to announce an exciting opportunity for all of us to contribute to Connecticut�s continued growth and prosperity.
I am asking Connecticut residents to please join in a very special one-day statewide celebration on Saturday, June 11: Connecticut Open House Day. Connecticut Open House Day showcases our state�s exceptional world of art, history and tourism. On June 11, Connecticut tourist attractions will open their doors in a neighborly way to residents so we can discover � and rediscover � all that is uniquely Connecticut.
More than 125 cultural and tourist destinations will participate. Many will offer free admission, unique tours, special offers and even refreshments to visitors. Some of the participants include the following:
Rep. Christopher Shays, in a wide-ranging Westport luncheon talk, said today it is difficult to get Americans to wake up to the terrorist threat.
Christopher Shays: Americans need to wake up to terrorist threat. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
“Americans don’t believe there is a war on terrorism because they are not making any sacrifices,” the Republican congressman told an audience at the Red Barn restaurant of five area Rotary Clubs. “We don’t buy into it. As Americans, I can sense it.”
He said Americans, especially those of his 4th Congressional District, enjoy the highest living standard in the world and this contributes to a sense that weapons of mass destruction are not a serious threat.
But Shays, who recently returned from his eighth visit to Iraq, said the threat is real and the United States must be proactive in meeting it.
Thanks to WestportNow’s army of contributing photographers, WestportNow posted 140 photographs of Westport’s Memorial Day parade Monday and other holiday events, a record.
“The Memorial Day parade has long been a highlight of annual events in Westport and we were delighted to be able to present a digital history of the day for all to see,” said Gordon Joseloff, WestportNow editor and publisher.
“Twenty photographers submitted almost 250 photographs,” he said. “We launched a special photo gallery feature to accommodate the photos. This is the most photos we’ve published of any one event since our start more than two years ago.
“Unfortunately, we were not able to use all of them, but we are grateful to Westporters for taking time to share their photos with our readers. Thanks to them, WestportNow continues to set the pace among citizen journalism efforts on the Internet.”
A World War II painting of the honor roll in front of Westport�s Town Hall by artist Steven Dohanos is on display at the Westport Historical Society. The painting, which appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on Dec. 4, 1943, is on loan to the Westport WPA Art Rescue Committee from its present owner, a collector of Dohanos art works. THe committee hopes to raise $12,500 to return the piece permanently to Westport. Mollie Donovan of the Westport Historical Society and husband Jack view the painting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ron Malone for WestportNow.com. For more pictures by Ron Malone click HERE.
8 p.m. - Bedford Middle School Cafeteria - Board of Education
Monday, May 30, 2005
Parade Grand Marshall Barry McCabe addresses the crowd on Veterans Green across from Westport Town Hall at the conclusion of today’s Memorial Day parade. For more parade pictures see below and a special WestportNow picture gallery HERE. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
The Westport Fire Department drew applause for its section of today’s Westport Memorial Day parade. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com. For more photos by Dave Matlow click HERE.
Westport First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell and husband, Win, wave to crowds during today’s Memorial Day parade. This is the eighth and last parade for Farrell who has announced she will not seek re-election in November. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Julia Mally for WestportNow.com. For more photos by Julia Mally click HERE.
Two A-10 Thunderbolts, also known as Warthogs, flew in salute over the Westport Memorial Day parade today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Chip Stephens for WestportNow.com. For more photos by Chip Stephens click HERE.
Memorial Day parade honcho Bill Vornkahl (l ) gets a lift from Stuart McCarthy, Parks and Recereation Department director, during today’s parade. This is Vornkhal’s 34th Memorial Day parade he has organized. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Stephen Rubin for WestportNow.com. For more photos by Stephen Rubin click HERE.
Today’s Westport Memorial Day Parade attracted onlookers of all ages,including young Westporters Bryn and Dean Stevens. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com. For more parade pictures by Emily Laux click HERE.
The men and women of the Westport Fire Department, including volunteers, lined up to pay honor to fallen colleagues at today’s annual Memorial Day ceremony at fire headquarters. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Nate Gibbons/Westport Fire Department photo
Today’s Westport Memorial Day commemoration began with the annual rememberance ceremony at Westport Fire headquarters. First Selectwoman Diane G. Farrell was among those who addressed the gathering. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo
Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from a David Press’s book in progress, “Between the Minuteman and the Doughboy.” A 20-year Westport resident and history buff, Press is a member of Westport’s Planning and Zoning Commission.
By David Press
The first Memorial Day observance in Westport was not after World War II when the GIs came home to a thunderous applause and welcome. And it wasn’t started to commemorate Doughboys lost in the great war, “the war to end all wars,” World War I.
Civil War era: Peter Foote: member oif Grand Army of the Republic post. Contriibuted photo
It began much earlier with a nation weary from war, in a country that had been torn apart and was still trying to heal its wounds, a homeland still reeling from brother killing brother. Called Decoration Day, it began to commemorate local Union troops who had died in the Civil War.
Westport’s Civil War veterans were an odd mix of merchants and lawyers, farmers and carpenters, painters and oystermen. And more than 200 of the town’s men served the Union Army in Chancellorsville, Cold Harbor and Cedar Mountain, Va.; Port Hudson, La., and in Gettysburg, Pa. By the time the war ended in 1865, 24 of them were dead.
In the late 1870s, Westport veterans banded together to honor their fallen comrades in arms.They started by participating in what was slowly becoming a national trend—decorating the graves of the war dead on May 30. These ceremonies often included a parade to the cemetery, as well.
Two young friends sailed their Optimists late Sunday afternoon in Long Island Sound off of Westport despite the lack of wind and threatening rumbles of thunder. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Emily Laux for WestportNow.com
9 a.m. - Riverside Avenue - Westport’s Memorial Day parade kicks off
Sunday, May 29, 2005
Even though Westport’s Longshore Pool did not open for the season this weekend due to the recent unusually cool weather, two swimmers managed to sneak through the fence today for a dip. The pool is scheduled to open next weekend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Martha Nachman for WestportNow.com