Hundreds gather in Naugatuck for Memorial Day parade

NAUGATUCK -- Many lined North Main Street in Naugatuck ahead of the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday.

In addition to this local tradition, there was another exciting event meant to honor veterans. Ed Hughes, a Naugatuck native, and owner of Edible Dreams, a bakery in Naugautck, celebrated the grand opening of his second eatery, Bombay Cafe.

The cafe is a portal into the 1940s, and is meant to honor those who have served in our armed forces.

"These guys, if they didn't do what they did at that time in history then we might not be here today," said Hughes. "Bombay Cafe was just built as a tribute to the men and women of World War II."

With that goal in mind, it seemed only fitting that Hughes would open his doors on Memorial Day, of all days.

"Millions of people died but millions more could have died if they didn’t step up and fight," said Hughes.

Brooke Cyr, Miss Connecticut Teen 2017 spent the morning at Bombay Cafe helping Hughes pass out food. Cyr was sponsored by Hughes' bakery in her quest to win the crown, and felt it was important to now help him with his own dreams.

"It's amazing, I thanked everyone in there for their service," said Cyr. "I have friends going into the military so I think it's amazing that he dedicated that whole restaurant to that, and it's amazing that they are here to support it."

Service men and women were among the many who came by to try the food and drinks at Bombay Cafe, which range from coffee, canolis, ice cream, breakfast sandwiches, and more.

"It's a tribute to them (veterans)," said Hughes. "Big tribute to them outside, and inside as well."

The tribute on the outside was of course, the highly anticipated annual Naugatuck Memorial Day Parade organized by the Naugatuck Veterans Council.

“It’s always been considered one of the largest in the state, if not New England," said Chairman of the Naugatuck Veterans Council, John DeBisschop.

Hundreds come out to march, and support, but most importantly, honor the fallen.

“Naugatuck is an extremely patriotic community," said DeBisschop. "This is a long running tradition, and we want to make sure that those who came before us, that fought and died or our freedom are never forgotten.”

The parade is a tradition to remember those paid the ultimate sacrifice, and stand behind those who have fought and those who are still fighting for our freedoms today.

"It's about people who serve us, and to thank them for everything that they do because I couldn't imagine what they do for us," said Cyr. "That is what we are celebrating here today."