Veterans lead way on Memorial Day

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

The Bristol Veterans Council will once again be marching in honor of those who serve their country, in their Memorial Day Procession, to be held on Monday, May 27.

The procession will begin at 10 a.m., on Hope Street, the new road on the old Center Mall site. It will follow Riverside Ave., to Main Street, and then proceed down Memorial Boulevard. The procession will conclude on the boulevard, in front of the monument park.

The procession will be led by World War II service members, selected by the Bristol Veterans Council to serve as the grand marshalls, explained BVC chair, Art Ward, and BVC vice chair, Tim Gamache.

Gamache explained that all grand marshals will be receiving a Bristol All Heart Award, on behalf of the city, for their service to their community, state, and nation.

“Some of the WWII veterans are shying away from the actual parade because they’re afraid that it’s going to be the type of thing where they have to get up and talk about their experiences and stuff,” said Ward. “We’re not going to ask any of them to do that. Basically, what we want them there for is so that we can recognize them for their service and thank them from the community.”

Also new this year, explained Gamache, is that more veteran organizations will be taking part. This, Ward said, will equate to more veteran representation and more community involvement.

The city has been guaranteed a military flyover. And, the Connecticut Department of Veteran Affairs commissioner, Thomas Saadi, will be the keynote speaker and guest of honor.

And in keeping with the tradition of the observance, there will be a reading of the names of “all of those who paid the supreme sacrifice,” said Ward. That includes those who were lost fighting in World War One, World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam.

Following the procession, the Bristol Veterans Council invites all to gather at the American Legion on Hooker Court, where the Bristol Elks Lodge will be sponsoring and provided a picnic and cookout type lunch.

The annual Forestville Memorial Day parade will be Sunday, May 26 at 2 p.m. The parade starts in Forestville center, proceeds up Church Avenue to Washington Street and down Central Street.

Comments? Email tmurchison@BristolObserver.com.

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