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A Fitting Tribute To Orange’s Honored Veteran

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May 292017
 

To way too many people, Memorial Day means picnics, parades, and store sales. But in Orange, the two most important events are the ceremony before the parade and the service after the parade.

Gratefully, these two events are better attended now than in past years.

The Memorial Day Committee chose Don Jewell as this year’s Honored Veteran — He would have liked that. His Bio included: U.S. Coast Guard 1942-1946; World War 11 Veteran. Past Commander of the American Legion Orange Post #127 and a life member. 

Don was one of Orange’s favorite sons. He and his wife Mary were a fixture at the Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day Events.

Sadly, Don, a longtime member of the Orange American Legion and Memorial Day Committee, died on February 16 at the age of 93.

His favorite quote was “I don’t always have my way but I always have my say!”

He was remembered during the Ceremony at the Gazebo, but the true honor for this Honored Veteran was waiting down the road at the service at the Orange Center Cemetery.

Police Chief Robert Gagne and Veteran Elmer Manley carried a wreath down the long driveway to Mr. Jewell’s gravesite, followed by a bagpiper, Mary, and their family.

Gagne placed the wreath and straightened the ribbons, then he and Manley gave Don one final salute as a trumpeter from Amity High School played “Taps.”

 

 

 

2017 Orange Memorial Day Parade on Sunday

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May 272017
 

The annual Town of Orange Memorial Day Ceremonies and Parade will take place on Sunday, May 28, 2017.

The parade honorees have been announced:

Grand Marshal – Robert H. DeFeo –  U.S. Air Force Active 1956-1959 – Reserve from 1956 – 1965 – rank of Captain.

Chief of Staff – Peter Shery –  U.S. Army 1953-1955 – Korean War Veteran. Citations received – Korean Service Medal, The U.N. Service Medal and The National Defense Medal.

Honored Veteran – Donald J. Jewell, posthumously –  U.S. Coast Guard 1942-1946; World War 11 Veteran.  Past Commander of the American Legion Orange Post #127 and a life member.  His favorite quote was “I don’t always have my way but I always have my say!”

Keynote Speaker – Paul M. Tarbox    A Veteran of 10 years with the Connecticut Army National Guard.  He volunteered for deployment to Camp Anaconda in Balad, Iraqi 2004-2005 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom II with the 118th Area Support Medical Battalion. 

Kevin Gilbert once again will serve as Parade Organizer! Parade ceremonies will commence promptly at 10:30 a.m. at the High Plains Community Center Field.  The parade will step off immediately following the ceremony down Orange Center Road past the reviewing stand with services following at the Orange Center Cemetery.

The Parade Committee encourages any groups wishing to participate to contact Karen Goldberg at the Orange Town Hall at 203-891-4738 or Kevin Gilbert at 203-795-2417 or 203-795-4647.  Applications for participation in the parade are available at the Orange Town Hall – First Selectman’s Office or on the town’s website at www.orange-ct.gov.   The Committee anticipates many marching bands and floats.

The Committee invites the public to join in honoring our nation’s veterans.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. So, it is important to honor them at the brief cemetery service after the parade. 

In the event of rain, exercises will take place at the High Plains Community Center Auditorium.

The following photos were taken in 2015 and 2016.

American Legion Remembers Pearl Harbor 74 Years Later

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Dec 072015
 

IMG_0147Commander Lewis Merritt of American Legion Post 127, presided over a brief ceremony in front of the Legion Hall commemorating the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor today, Dec. 7.

Phil Grande lowered the flag to half mast.

Police Chief Robert Gagne read a portion of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Date that will live in infamy” speech that was delivered to a joint session of Congress on Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the tragedy.

Don Jewell, the only WWII Veteran present, also offered a few comments.

The sound of gunshots filled the air as the rifle squad gave their salute.

If you did not make it to the event, take a moment to remember the 2,402 dead and 1,247 injured military personnel and anywhere from 55 to 68 civilians were killed and about 35 wounded in the attack.

 

Town of Orange Celebrates Veteran’s Day — Indoors This Year

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Nov 122015
 

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The annual Orange Veteran’s Day ceremony took place at High Plains Community Center on Wednesday, Nov. 11 at 11 a.m.

Many of the town’s veterans attended the event, emceed by Vicky Grande, which was highlighted by the presence of the Orange Police Department Honor Guard and a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem performed by three fine young choir singers from West Haven High School.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli read the names of every veteran in attendance.

Legion Auxiliary president AnnaMay Geipel-Pieger laid a wreath crafted by Margie Cronin, 89. Cronin, a long-time auxiliary member has been making the wreath for this occasion for more than a decade, and she is not showing any signs of slowing down.

The ceremony was brief (and dry) inside the Community Center. And moments after it’s conclusion, the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the Veteran’s Walkway outside. The Auxiliary wreath was brought outside and placed at the flagpole where it belongs.

Ron Davis video taped the entire ceremony for OGAT.  You will be able to find it on the “on demand” site soon.

(Orange Live will provide its own clips as soon as they are edited)