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West Hartford Veterans Day Ceremony to Feature Town Manager Matt Hart as Guest Speaker

Memorial wreath. Veterans Day, West Hartford, Nov. 11, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton

The Town of West Hartford will hold its annual Veterans Day ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, and American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 will also host a luncheon for veterans on Nov. 10.

Town Manager Matt Hart speaking at the West Hartford Memorial Day Ceremony. May 27, 2019. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

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Town Manager Matt Hart will be the guest speaker for the 2021 Veterans Day Ceremony, Nov. 11, 2021, 11:00 a.m., at the Connecticut Veterans Memorial West Hartford, corner of North Main Street and Farmington Avenue. The event is open to all.

Hart began his tenure as West Hartford’s ninth Town Manager in July 2017. He has helped to lead the organization through the course of the pandemic, with a focus on public health and safety and providing resources to those most in need. He promotes a work environment that emphasizes teamwork, customer service, and innovation, as well as sustainability, equity, and inclusion. He assists the Town Council with setting goals for the future, and developing sound fiscal strategies designed to address budgetary and operational needs. He recognizes the importance of supporting the town’s business community and is working to streamline processes and create opportunities for businesses to grow and thrive.

Previously, Hart served as Town Manager in Mansfield, CT, where he played a critical role in the development of Storrs Center, a mixed-use, “New Urbanism” project located adjacent to the University of Connecticut’s main campus. In addition, he has experience working in the private sector and is a veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army National Guard.

The UConn Master of Public Administration program has recognized Hart for his contributions to the field of public administration and the school. He is an active member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and the Connecticut Town and City Management Association (CTCMA).

Hart earned his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master’s in Public Affairs (MPA) from the University of Connecticut, and his bachelor’s degree in political science from the State University of New York at Potsdam.

He lives in West Hartford with his partner, Kara, and their two daughters.

The American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 annually organizes the Veterans Day ceremony. In addition to Hart, the Veterans Day Ceremony will also feature speakers Mayor Shari Cantor and state Sen. Derek Slap.

Post 96 of West Hartford has been serving our veterans and community since 1922 and is open to all military veterans who have served honorably and military personnel currently on active duty.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will be moved indoors at a designated location.

Veterans luncheon

In addition to hosting the West Hartford Veterans Day Ceremony, American Legion Hayes-Velhage post 96 will also hold a free luncheon for veterans on Wednesday, Nov. 10, beginning at noon at the Elmwood Senior Center, located at the Elmwood Community Center.

Command Sergeant Major Paul Vicinus. Courtesy photo (we-ha.com file photo)

Command Sergeant Major Paul Vicinus, who is the assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for West Hartford Public Schools, will be the keynote speaker. All veterans are invited to attend and there is no charge. Reservations for the luncheon can be made by calling the Elmwood Senior Center at 860-561-8180.

CSM Vicinus was born in Bristol, CT, and raised in Plainville, CT. He graduated from the University of Connecticut in 1992 earning his bachelor’s degree in pure mathematics and later received his master’s in pure mathematics from Trinity College in 1998.

CSM Vicinus entered the Connecticut Army National Guard as an Infantryman in 1989 completing his Basic Training at Fort Benning, GA. His military education has included Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic and Advanced Non-Commissioned Officer Courses, and the United States Sergeant Major Academy.

CSM Vicinus assumed his current role of Command Sergeant Major of the 169th Connecticut National Guard on Feb. 16, 2017.

Other duty assignments have included BNCOC Senior Small Group Leader, 2/169th Leadership Regiment from June 2003 to May 2008, First Sergeant, A/1-102nd Infantry from May 2008 to February 2013, and Command Sergeant Major 1-102nd Infantry from February 2014 to February 2017. He deployed to Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom as the First Sergeant of Apache Company 1-102nd Infantry from November 2009 to November 2010.

About the American Legion

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness. It is the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in our communities, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting strong national security, and continued devotion to our fellow servicemembers and veterans.

The American Legion Post 96 of West Hartford has been serving our Veterans and Community since 1922 and is open to all military veterans who have served honorably and military personnel currently on active duty. The Post will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 2022.

Further information is available at www.post96.org or by contacting the Post at Hayes-Velhage Post 96, P.O. Box 370160, West Hartford, CT. 06137-0160. Phone 860-233-9029

About the Connecticut Veterans Memorial West Hartford

The Connecticut Veterans Memorial West Hartford is a unique testimonial dedicated to all members of the Armed Services who served the United States beginning with the earliest conflict in our country’s history, the King Philip War, up to the Global War on Terror.

This Veterans Memorial is a sculptural expression of time and emotion that commemorates the history of all wars. The Memorial is a circular Wall of Peace that salutes those who gave their lives for our country. The wall is constructed of blocks of polished black granite in the form of a circle. At each point along the wall when our Armed Forces went into conflict, the smooth circular wall is violently broken, and the names of the West Hartford veterans who gave their lives during that conflict are engraved on the Wall of Peace.

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