Westport’s longest ever Memorial Day parade was compacted to two minutes by Westporter Nick Pisarro Jr. Nick Pisarro Jr. for WestportNow.com
Sunday, December 10, 2023
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.