Memorial Day 2019: City of Bristol remembers

Zoe Melnick, left, and Annie Vastola pose with Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu after laying a wreath to honor Forestville’s war dead during Memorial Day activities on May 26. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The City of Bristol and the Bristol Veterans Council, hosted the 2019 Memorial Day Procession on Monday, May 27.

A veteran shares a laugh with Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu, center, and Tim Gamache of the Bristol Veterans Council at Memorial Day ceremonies at Memorial Boulevard May 27. (Photo by Taylor Murchison-Gallagher)

Honored as the parade grand marshals were Bristol’s World War II veterans, though several were represented by family members in their absence. They included Ralph Settembri (U.S. Navy), Anthony Sileo (U.S. Army), Marcel Simoneau (Navy), Raymond Taillon (Navy), Joseph Christophero (Navy), James Cleveland (Navy), John Fensick (Navy), Richard Fitz (Navy), Norman Mailhot (Army), Gerard Quintin (Navy), Dominic Raponey (U.S. Coast Guard), Joseph Caminiti (Marine Corp), Al Caruso (Navy), George Burns (Marine Corp), and Antonio Benvenuto (Army).

“It is indeed an All Heart day when we recognize WWII veterans who are still with us,” said Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu. “During WWII, Bristol sent 4,742 people into service; 113 of them were women, 139 did not return to Bristol, and today we mourn them, we remember them, and we hope that for future generations the stories and the ceremonies will continue so they are never forgotten.”

Zoppo-Sassu, veterans council vice chair Tim Gamache and Thomas Saadi, a major in the U.S. Army Reserves and the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veteran Affairs, presented the parade marshals with the All Heart Award.

Thomas Saadi, a major in the U.S. Army Reserves and the commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Veteran Affairs speaks at Bristol’s Memorial Day ceremony at Memorial Boulevard. (Photo by Taylor Murchison-Gallagher)

“Those who raise their right hand are part of a rich military tradition, but unlike that of many other countries who have rich military histories, our American tradition is not one of conquest for the sake of glory but of fighting for freedom,” said Saadi.

Many organizations and individuals marched from Hope Street to the Memorial Boulevard Par

“The Bristol Police Department is privileged and honored to be part of today’s activities,” said Police Chief Brian Gould.

The ceremony began with former mayor Art Ward, chair of the Bristol Veteran Council, and members of the BVC performing the POW/MIA ceremony, dedicated to those who served, were and still are held prisoner while defending the United States of America.

The ceremony concluded with the reading of the names of all of Bristol’s service members who fought in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.

A float works its way through the streets during the Forestville Memorial Day parade on May 26. (Photo by Janelle Morelli)