The Cheshire Memorial Day Parade is a long-honored town tradition to honor our military veterans who sacrificed all. In 2020, the Parade had to be cancelled due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, while still needing to adhere to crowd control, the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade Committee has announced there will be a special motor vehicle parade through town on Sunday, May 30, starting at 1:30 p.m.
There will be no marching units or organizations involved, in order to keep the procession manageable, yet this year’s motor vehicle parade will be extra special as each will be occupied with local veterans who served our country. The 2021 Cheshire Memorial Day motor vehicle parade of veterans will begin at the Church Green with a brief ceremony and the playing of TAPs to honor those who sacrificed all.
“It is vitally important to keep the tradition of the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade alive and keep the meaning of ‘memorial’ in this sacred day. We are pleased the Town, the Cheshire Veterans Council and the Cheshire Memorial Day Parade Committee has come up with a way to do this until we can begin to organize a full parade, hopefully for next year,” said John White of the Cheshire Veterans Council and Parade Marshal.
The parade route will be released in the near future, which will cover residential areas of town. The Cheshire Veterans Council and The Town of Cheshire will be asking all town residents to come out and support our veterans in honor of Memorial Day. Also, they need residents and viewers to adhere to the CDC guidelines as the parade is viewed along the route or at the edge of residents’ lawns, as no mass gatherings at any locations along the route will be allowed.
The Cheshire Police Department will lead and handle navigation of the parade route to stop traffic as needed. Parade vehicles will be limited to veterans and any residents who served and would like to be part of this, contact and register with Parade Committee member Leslie Marinaro, firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (203) 631-7762, by April 15. Any veteran participant should secure a driver, however, anyone needing a ride to be part of the procession should let the Committee know this when contacting Marinaro.
Memorial Day was originally Decoration Day, an occasion when veterans, townspeople and children marched in a parade to cemeteries to decorate the graves of soldiers with spring flowers. It began after the Civil War and spread across the nation, becoming a national holiday. Later it was extended to honor all U.S. war dead. In 1971 Congress designated it as Memorial Day and fixed the date as the last Monday in May.
The Parade Committee encourages all viewers to come out, wave and cheer to the veterans who pass by. Also, to bring their children grandchildren or neighbors out to teach them the importance of honoring our veterans and understanding why we have Memorial Day. “On Memorial Day we remember our fallen heroes and express gratitude so their sacrifice can never be forgotten. We can accomplish this by teaching future generations the reason we live in the Land of the Free is Because of the Brave”, said Hayley Falk, founder of Because of the Brave and a new member of the Parade Committee.
Cheshire’s annual Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony honoring the men and women who died in America’s armed forces will be held on the First Congregational Church green prior to the parade. The ceremony is sponsored by the Cheshire Veterans Council, which consists of American Legion Post 92, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10052, Army Air Force Round Table of Connecticut, Disabled American Veterans and the Town of Cheshire.