The Town of West Hartford has released the details of Monday’s virtual Memorial Day ceremony.
By Ronni Newton
The nature of the ritual may be somewhat different, but at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day, as is the tradition, the Town of West Hartford will honor its veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country with a parade and ceremony.
Filmed in advance, in separate segments and following social distancing protocols to control the spread of COVID-19, the 2020 virtual West Hartford Memorial Day parade and ceremony will air Monday at 10 a.m. on West Hartford Community Interactive (Comcast channel 5 and Frontier channel 6098), and will also be available for viewing on WHCi’s YouTube channel.
The parade, featuring the West Hartford Police Department and West Hartford Fire Department color guards, wearing cloth masks, moves solemnly down Farmington Avenue to the Veterans Memorial where the ceremony was filmed.
Participants in the ceremony include Amelia Tripp of Hall High School, who will sing the National Anthem, and Anna Siciliano of King Philip Middle School, who will play TAPS.
Mayor Shari Cantor will deliver a special message, and 19th District State Sen. Cathy Osten, a U.S. Army veteran and commander of American Legion Post 85, will deliver a keynote address.
A prayer will be offered by Rev. Dana Hallenbeck.
The names of West Hartford veterans who have passed away since last Memorial Day will scroll across the screen to conclude the 22-minute program.
Watch the video on YouTube below.
Several days ago, a small group of town staff and members of the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 placed more than 1,200 American flags on the graves of veterans in Fairview Cemetery. The traditional flag-planting ceremony, which typically involves hundreds of participants, including Scout troops from throughout the community, was also canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Memorial Day is a holiday in which we honor the more than 1 million men and women who have lost their lives defending America since the Revolutionary War. For West Hartford, 236 brave souls answered the call and paid the ultimate price to defend our nation’s freedom since 1776. By remembering them, we honor their service,” the town said in a news release.
Although this year’s traditional celebrations were canceled, the community has not forgotten.
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