Annual Connecticut Veterans Parade to honor all state veterans Sunday
HARTFORD – Major Mike Petersen, director of public affairs for the Connecticut National Guard and Laura Soll, communications director of the Connectiocut Veterans Parade stopped by FOX 61’S Good Day Connecticut to talk about the meaning of this annual event to veterans and active military, as well as parade logistics and its history.
The parade honors all of the state’s veterans and steps off Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in Hartford, rain or shine. Other news they shared about the parade was:
- It is the largest Veterans Parade in New England, and one of the biggest salutes to veterans in the U.S.
- There is a new parade route and new reviewing stand location, showcasing Bushnell Park
- Organizers are expecting nearly 3,000 marchers from all over the State – almost all of them veterans
- At 1:30 p.m. there will be a moment of silence when parade stops in place to remember fallen soldiers
- There will be a military flyover of a C-130H personnel and cargo transport aircraft from the Connecticut Air National Guard
- The parade has been recognized for the seventh year in a row by U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Day Committee in Washington, D.C. as one of nation’s official “Veterans Day Regional Sites”
- Marchers are active, retired or honorably discharged members of the U.S. Armed Forces including commissioned officers, warrant officers & enlisted personnel of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserves. Plus, veterans groups, patriotic commissions, marching bands.
- Student Essay Contest winner Rachel Coppinger, an eight-grader from West Simsbury, will ride in parade.
Parade Day Schedule
- 11:30 p.m. Wreath-Laying Ceremony to Remember Veterans – At Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch.
- 12:30 p.m. Parade steps off near State Capitol Building at Buckingham and Washington Streets.
Reviewing Stand near Pump House Gallery at Elm and Well Streets in Bushnell Park’s southeast corner.
- 1:30 p.m. Moment of Silence – Parade stops to remember servicemen and women who gave their lives for freedom. Volunteers hold Silence signs. At end of minute, C-130 personnel & cargo transport aircraft soars overhead, National Anthem is sung, Hartford church bells toll.
Three Parade Marshalls:
- Former Disbursing Clerk Third Class John (Jack) G. Casey Jr. of Groton, U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran and an Assistant State Captain and current Board member of the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders
- Lt. Col. (Ret) Walter J. Hushak of Southington – Veteran of U.S Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force Reserve who, at age 93, proudly marches in uniform at every CT Veterans Parade. Hushak was a World War II pilot of a B-24 Liberator bomber in the Pacific. He then served in the Air Force Reserve for 27 years
- Chief Warrant Officer Five Mark S. Marini, Sr. of Suffield, who has 41 years of military service with the Connecticut Army National Guard, the past 17 of those as the Command Chief Warrant Officer