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Local vets outraged over lack of American flags at Seymour Veterans Park

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SEYMOUR-- Some veterans in Seymour are looking for respect, since they want flags flying at a local veterans park, but budget constraints haven't allowed that to happen.

Right now, there are no American flags on poles posted at memorials inside of French Memorial Park.

Town leaders say they don't have the funding or man power for someone to lower and raise the flags each day, and lights there don't work , so they can't illuminate the flags.

Inside the park is a treasure trove of monuments dedicated to those who served our country during wartime. There's a memorial for every major war dating back to the the revolutionary war.

"It is a nice park," said Herb Libui, a 90 year old Seymour resident and World War II veteran.

What you won't find in the park is an American flag.

"It's an insult to the guys that served the country and not to them, but their families too," said Pete Giovacchino, a Seymour resident and World War II veteran.

Giobacchino  is one of the few surviving World War Two veterans left in the Naugatuck Valley.

He believes  six flag polls circling the different memorials in the park known as "Veteran's Grove" have not had flags raised for at least the past year.

He and other vets are outraged.

"These are six new flag poles. They were put up especially for the veterans,why don't they use them?"  Giobacchino said.

The town of Seymour says wiring in the park needs to be replaced and United States flag codes permit that flags can only remain raised if illuminated at night, otherwise they have to be lowered and raised each day.

"So the question becomes who would it be? And we have not a found a solution to do that yet," said Rory Burke, town of Seymour assistant for the first selectman.

Burke says  $15,000 in this year's town's capital improvement budget has been allocated toward replacing wiring in the park.

He says the repairs will begin in the next few months, which will allow for one light to illuminate a flag pole on top of a hill in the park which overlooks Route 8.

Burke says the town may have to spend more money than allocated in the budget to replace the wiring in order to illuminate the flag poles by the memorials.

"If there is money left over its a possibility but again we don't want to promise it's a possibility because we are not sure," said Burke.

Paul Giobacchino says vets won't be satisfied until every flag pole at French Memorial has a flag flying high.

"If you want to put a flag there go ahead, but I want to see a flag down there honoring these guys who are in the service," said Giobacchino.

Members of  Seymour parks Commission have met with Giobacchino  and other veterans about these concerns.

Commission members plan to discuss this and other repairs needed in the park at  next park commission meeting next Monday.

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1 Comment

  • A CONCERNED CITIZEN

    I am grateful to Giobacchino, not for bringing the flag problem to my attention, but providing the incentive to interview that anonymous town official. Such handsomeness has not graced the airwaves for some time.