West Hartford will observe Memorial Day on Monday, May 28, with a parade followed by a Memorial Service, and residents should note that trash and recycling pickup will be delayed by one day all week.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford will hold its annual Memorial Day Parade – a tradition that was established in the 1920s to welcome veterans home from World War I – on Monday beginning at 10 a.m.
Two grand marshals have been chosen by the West Hartford Memorial Day Parade Committee to lead this year’s parade: Dawn Morris and her father, Retired Col. Charles Carlton, U.S. Army.
Morris is executive vice president and chief operating officer with Webster Bank and Webster Financial Corporation. She is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and served as a captain in the Army’s 530th Supply and Service Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC
Morris is also the executive leader of the Webster Women’s Initiative Network (WeWIN), an organization dedicated to enhancing women’s professional growth, and is a member of the Governor’s Prevention Partnership and the boards of Hartford Stage, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, and Marketing EDGE.
She is is the recipient of multiple honors, including being named one of eight Women in Business who is leaving a lasting legacy in Connecticut by the Hartford Business Journal in 2017. That same year she was also awarded the Girl Scouts of Connecticut Breakfast Badge Award for her contributions to the community.
Morris will serve as grand marshal alongside her father, Charles Carlton, a retired U.S. Army Infantry colonel whose active duty included two combat tours in Vietnam and Cambodia (1967-70). He served tours with the Fifth Marine Regiment, the Seventh Cavalry Regiment, and the 82d Airborne Division.
Carlton was a battalion and brigade level commander, special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and commander of a Joint Task Force in Central America during the Contra-Sandinista confrontation. He was also a participant in the removal of Noriega in Panama in 1989.
Carlton is a 1962 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, has a graduate degree in public administration from the University of Oklahoma, and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.
All veterans are welcome to join the parade, either in a group or alone, according to the West Hartford Veterans Commission.
Honorary Assistant Parade Marshals include Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, U. S. Rep. John B. Larson, State Reps. Andrew Fleischmann and Derek Slap, and members of the West Hartford Town Council and Board of Education.
The parade will begin at the corner of Farmington Avenue and Woodrow Street at 10 a.m., and will end at Town Hall, and the reviewing stand will be at the south end of Goodman Green. Click here for the parade orders.
Last year’s parade was canceled due to rain, as was the 2016 Memorial Day Parade. Prior to that the last cancellation was in 2003. There is no rain date and units will be informed as soon as possible if weather requires the cancellation of the parade this year. We-Ha.com will provide that information as well.
The West Hartford Memorial Day Parade Committee is a joint endeavor and cooperative effort of the West Hartford Veterans Affairs Commission, The American Legion of West Hartford Hayes-Velhage Post 96, and Hannon-Hatch VFW Post 9929, in partnership with the Town of West Hartford.
A brief memorial service will be held at the West Hartford Veterans Memorial, located at the corner of Farmington Avenue and North Main Street, and all are encouraged to attend. If the parade is canceled due to rain, the ceremony will take place at West Hartford Town Hall Auditorium at 11 a.m.
Town Manager Matt Hart, a U.S. Army and U.S. Army National Guard veteran, will serve as emcee for the service, and parade Grand Marshal Dawn Morris will give the keynote address.
Rev. Kenneth Frazier, a Navy veteran and senior minister of the First Congregational Church in Waterbury will give the benediction. Mayor Shari Cantor will also speak, and Moe Fradette, vice commander of American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96, will recognize high school students who are entering the armed forces after graduation.
Arman Chowdhury of Hall High School will sing the National Anthem, and “Taps” will be performed by Thatcher Slocum and Aaron Mark of Sedgwick Middle School.
Color guards from the West Hartford Police Department, West Hartford Fire Department, and Post 96 will also participate.
Parking and Traffic Flow
Parking is free all day on Monday, May 28 at all municipal parking sites. However, on-street parking is prohibited beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 28 until the parade is completed on the following parade route streets:
- Pleasant Street, west side, from Whitman to Farmington
- Farmington Avenue, both sides, from Walden to Raymond
- South Main Street, both sides, from Brace to Burr
West Hartford Police noted in a press release that several of the streets surrounding the parade route that provide access to South Main Street and Farmington Avenue will be closed beginning at 9 a.m. Through traffic is advised to seek alternate routes. Roads are expected to clear by 1 p.m., police said.
Trash, recycling, and bulky collections during the week of May 28 -June 2 will be one day late following Monday’s Memorial Day holiday. According to Paine’s, Monday’s collection will be done on Tuesday and all other collections will also be moved ahead one day.
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