Quantcast

Orange Memorial Day Ceremony Rainy Weather Style

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, School News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Orange Memorial Day Ceremony Rainy Weather Style
May 302021
 

The Memorial Day Ceremony at the gazebo is a treasured tradition in the town of Orange. The Memorial Day Committee works tirelessly for months to plan the events, from who the honored veterans will be to inviting town and state dignitaries and putting together the marching order for the parade.

So when Mother Nature sticks her nose into the mix and decides to rain on the parade, the committee has to quickly change the logistics — move the very important ceremony indoors — inform the public that there won’t be a parade, and ensure that the building custodian is available at the conclusion of the ceremony.

 

This year, longtime chairman Kevin Gilbert, who ran the events for decades, took a step back and handed the reigns over to Kellie Martino. Oh, Kevin is still a part of the planning but he is happy to see things run so smoothly with a new chairman at the helm. “She did a wonderful job, thinking to do things we’ve never done before,” Gilbert said. “Like the Facebook page.”

Martino brought the Committee into the 21st century, introducing an Orange Memorial Day Parade Facebook page to which everyone could refer for information and last-minute updates, such as posting the parade cancellation at 8:30 a.m.

The indoor ceremony was last-minute indeed, but very well organized and well attended. The Orange Police Honor Guard, accompanied by Chief Robert Gagne and Assistant Chief Max Martins were present. Members of Orange CERT, a scout troop, and the American Legion Post 127 Honor Guard also attended. The entire rear corner of the Community Center Gym was filled by the rank and file of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

Many veterans filled the seats, that were spaced a “safe distance” apart. Some in the audience wore masks, others did not.

The ceremony followed the regular schedule, invocation; Pledge of Allegiance; Diane Raikis’s beautiful rendition of the National Anthem; comments from First Selectman Jim Zeoli, then the introductions of, and comments by the three honored veterans — Grand Marshal Dr. Norman Marieb Lt. MCUSNR US Navy 1961-63, Chief of Staff Kevin Hadlock Lt. US Navy 1971-74, and Honored Veteran Louis Eagle SP4 US Army 1960-63.

Our lawmakers came next: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, Senator Richard Blumenthal, and former House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.

They were followed by Keynote speaker Chris Carvath, an attorney who also serves on the Orange Police Commission.

Anna May Pieger, the president of the Post #127 Auxiliary presented the sons of Al Pol and Richard Manley the sashes that their fathers wore in past parades.

One staple of the ceremony is the student essay winners’ reading of their winning submissions. The subject of the 2021 essay was “Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?”

The winners, one from each Orange elementary school were Armaan Shrivastav, Chloe Chang and Avery French. Their essays won the approving nods of the veterans in attendance.

Rosa DeLauro and Richard Blumenthal both took copies of the essays to enter into the state’s congressional and senate records.

New this year, was the Memorial Day Program Cover Contest. The winner of the inaugural contest was student Avery Alves.

Fred O’Brien read the names of every Orange veteran who passed away between May 2019 to May 2021.

Kevin McKeon played Taps as the veterans stood at attention and saluted.

The ceremony concluded with a benediction from Antoinette Hudgens.

It was wonderful to see so many families come out to honor the brave men and women who helped to secure our freedom.

 

 

Orange’s Unique Memorial Day Ceremony

 Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Orange’s Unique Memorial Day Ceremony
May 282018
 

(photo by Jeff Cap)

Every year, the Orange Memorial Day Parade Committee works tirelessly for months to provide the town with the best, most interesting honored veterans and a wonderfully entertaining parade.

But after all the preparations, advertising, and anticipation, Sunday, May 27 arrived and the day’s activities were about to start, and so did the rain. Just a light drizzle really, but enough to prompt organizers to cancel the parade and, for the second time in nearly 35 years, move the ceremony indoors.

Even though the three honored veterans, all in their 90s, did not get to ride down the parade route to the reviewing stand, they still received meaningful recognition, respect, and appreciation from the sizeable crowd that gathered inside the High Plains Community Center Gym.

Grand Marshal – Albert Rapini (98 years old) – U.S. Army 1942 – 1945 – Rank of Tech Sergeant.

Albert Rapini, this year’s 2018 Grand Marshall, was born in New Haven on November 15, 1919. After he was honorably discharged in 1945, he married Anne Martone, and the two have been married for 73 years. They have resided in Orange since 1964, where they raised four children. He worked for Southern Ct. Gas, as a service technician for 35 years.
Al was a Little League or Babe Ruth coach for years.

 

 

 

Honorary Chief of Staff – Frank Tagliatela (96 years old) – U.S. Army 1942 – 1946 – Rank of Private First Class.

Chief of Staff Frank Tagliatela served in the United States Army from December 26, 1942, to February 26, 1946. He served in the U.S First Army in Europe as a member of a 40-millimeter gun crew attached to the 639th Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion. Frank served in combat operations in the Ardennes, otherwise known as the Battle of the Bulge, the Rhineland and Central Europe.
Frank often jokes that there has never been a winter as cold as the winter of Battle of the Bulge.

 

 

Honored Veteran – Robert Swirsky (98 years old)  – U.S. Army 1943-1945 – rank of Tech Sergeant.

Robert Swirsky was 23 when he landed at Omaha Beach in France, just after D-Day, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, was among those who discovered the concentration camp at Nordhausen and freed numerous towns across Europe from the Nazis.

He was joined by Hedwige Kuepper of Milford, 87, who, as a teenager, saw Swirsky and his U.S. Army unit pass through her town of Seaus, outside of Paris, during the liberation of France during World War II, read their amazing story HERE.

 

The Keynote Speaker is Orange Town Clerk Patrick B. O’Sullivan, III: Veteran’s Affairs Liaison, former State Representative and former member of the Board of Selectmen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even without the parade, Memorial Day 2018 may have been the most meaningful celebration in decades.

Residents attended the ceremony and were able to concentrate on what was truly important: honoring those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the freedom we have here in the United States each and every day.

Thank you to all the veterans for your service, and thank you to those who lost their lives fighting for freedom.

I’d also like to acknowledge the hard work of the Memorial Day Committee, including Kevin Gilbert, Karen Goldberg, and Moderator Robert Mirto, in making this a truly memorable day for the three honored veterans and their families. Thank you for keeping the focus on the true meaning of the holiday. And the scouts in Jeff Cap’s troop for being respectful throughout the ceremony.

 

Committee Seeks Local Veterans To Honor At Memorial Day Ceremony And Parade

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Today's Events  Comments Off on Committee Seeks Local Veterans To Honor At Memorial Day Ceremony And Parade
Mar 242018
 

Orange residents, do you know a veteran, male or female, especially one who served in Korea or WWII. If so, the Orange Memorial Day Committee wants to know about him or her.

Every year, the committee carefully chooses veterans to honor during the Memorial Day ceremony on the Orange Fairgrounds before the parade. These veterans fill the roles of Grand Marshal, Chief of Staff and Honored Veteran in the Memorial Day Parade.

Committee Chairman Kevin Gilbert said they are looking for veterans, who are Orange residents who were honorably discharged, particularly women who often are overlooked. He said many WWII veterans don’t talk about the war, so some people may not even know that they served.

As the holiday draws closer, there is a lot of planning and preparation that needs to be done, but nothing is as important as choosing the candidates they will recognize this year. “We hope to make a decision by the second week of April, so we need help getting names submitted for consideration as soon as possible,” Gilbert said.

If you have someone in mind, or if you are a veteran who would like to be considered please call Kevin Gilbert at 203-795-4647 or e-mail kpg25629@gmail.com or contact Karen Goldberg at 203-891-4738 or kgoldberg@orange-ct.gov.

2017 Orange Memorial Day Parade on Sunday

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire  Comments Off on 2017 Orange Memorial Day Parade on Sunday
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.

PHOTOS: Orange Memorial Day Parade

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Police & Fire, Today's Events  Comments Off on PHOTOS: Orange Memorial Day Parade
May 242015
 

IMG_4914Mother Nature woke up in a great mood today and gave us beautiful weather for the Memorial Day ceremonies, parades and picnics.

After the Ceremony at the gazebo, Orange Center Road was wall-to-wall people, waving flags and cheering as the parade passed from the first police car to the last fire truck the energy was strong and patriotism apparent.

The Orange Congregational Church Nursery Group sold hot dogs, treats and cold drinks on the green. A couple of vendors had balloons and other inflatables for sale, but it’s the free stuff that really got people excited: American Flags, pinwheels and Sgt. Stubby pins were gladly accepted on the fairgrounds and along the parade route.

See More Photos on Our Orange Live Facebook Page.

Letter: Thank Yous and Acknowledgements From Parade Coordinator

 Around Town, Home, Latest News  Comments Off on Letter: Thank Yous and Acknowledgements From Parade Coordinator
Jun 182013
 

Flags mark veterans graves at the Orange Cemetery.

Flags mark veterans graves at the Orange Cemetery.

To the Editor:

The Town of Orange Memorial Day Ceremonies and Parade were held on Sunday, May 26, 2013.  Anthony Monaco – U.S. Air Force, 1950-1954, a Korean War Veteran was the Grand Marshal.  James L. Marenna – U.S. Navy, 1963-1969, a Vietnam War Veteran, was the Chief of Staff.

The Honored Veterans this year were the 103rd Air Control Squadron of the Connecticut Air National Guard headquartered in the Town of Orange and commanded by Lt. Col. William A. Neri. Miguel A. Rodriguez, MSW, Counselor and Social Worker with the New Haven Vet Center within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Captain in the New York National Guard was the Keynote Speaker.

Dignitaries and speakers at the gazebo on Memorial Day.

Dignitaries and speakers at the gazebo on Memorial Day.

Diane Raikis sang the National Anthem.  Robert Mirto, Esq. was the Master of Ceremonies and Fred O’Brien, Esq. was the Parade Announcer.

Memorial Day was coordinated by Mr. Kevin Gilbert.  The services at the Veteran’s Memorial Monument at the Orange Center Cemetery were led by Laurence Czajkowski, Commander, American Legion Post #127.  Wreaths were laid at the monument by the American Legion Auxiliary and the Jewish War Veterans.

We would like to acknowledge those who made the day successful including the Highway Department, the Police Department, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the American Legion and its Auxiliary, and the Fire Department for the use of their communication radios.

A special “Thank You” to the Park & Recreation Grounds Crew for preparing the grounds for Memorial Day, the Orange Cemetery Association in memory of Marjorie Case who bequest funds each year to help defray parade costs, The Orange Foundation for the plaques given to the honorees, Lou Eagle of Eagle Leasing for the use of a flat bed trailer that was used as our reviewing stand,  Chris Winkle and the Winkle Bus Company for the use of a bus and driver to shuttle people to and from the cemetery and back to the parade grounds, Tom Hill for the use of two outdoor conveniences, Pinpoint Pro Motions & Printing for their poster boards, and Bob Fantarella for his audio system.

Lastly, we thank the school readers, the boys and girls who handed out all the flags and programs during the ceremonies and Skylar Spear for playing taps both at the opening and closing ceremonies.

Generous contributions from private parties and organizations were received to honor our fallen veterans and to support the soldiers who are presently serving our country.

Kevin Gilbert,

Memorial Day Parade Coordinator

Plans Underway For 2013 Memorial Day Parade

 Around Town, Home, Latest News, Meetings, Today's Events  Comments Off on Plans Underway For 2013 Memorial Day Parade
Mar 272013
 

A Cub Scout greets a veteran at last year's Memorial Day Ceremony.

A Cub Scout greets a veteran at last year’s Memorial Day Ceremony.

The 2013 Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade will take place on Sunday, May 26 beginning at the Orange Fairgrounds at 10:30 a.m.

The Memorial Day Parade Committee will hold its first meeting today.

Any individual or group interested in participating in the parade may obtain an application at the Orange Town Hall.

Orange Live will publish more information about the Ceremony and parade as it becomes available.

Kevin Gilbert is the Parade Organizer.

Letter to the Editor: From Kevin Gilbert

 Latest News  Comments Off on Letter to the Editor: From Kevin Gilbert
Jun 142012
 

To the Editor:

The WWII Veterans were a huge part of the Memorial Day Ceremony this year.

The Town of Orange Memorial Day Ceremonies and Parade were held on Sunday, May 27, 2012.  James M. White, Lt. Colonel – U.S. Army retired, West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran was the Grand Marshal.  Vito J. DeVito, World War II Army veteran, and Purple Heart recipient was the Chief of Staff.  The Honored Veterans this year were all World War II veterans, living or deceased, who served from 1941 – 1945. The Reverend Ann M. Ritonia, Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Orange, and U.S. Marine veteran from 1979 – 2007 was the Keynote Speaker.  Diane Raikis sang the National Anthem.  Robert Mirto, Esq. was the Master of Ceremonies and Fred O’Brien, Esq. was the Parade Announcer.

Memorial Day was coordinated by  (yours truly) Kevin Gilbert.  The services at the Veteran’s Memorial Monument at the Orange Center Cemetery were led by Lawrence Czajkowski, Commander, American Legion Post #127.  Wreaths were laid at the monument by the American Legion Auxiliary and the Jewish War Veterans.

We would like to acknowledge those who made the day successful including the Highway Department, the Police Department, the Police Benevolent Association (PBA), the American Legion and its Auxiliary, the Fire Department, and the Park & Recreation Grounds Department.

A special “Thank You” to the Orange Cemetery Association in memory of Marjorie Case who bequest funds each year to help defray parade costs, The Orange Foundation for the plaques given to the honorees, Eagle Leasing for the use of a flat bed trailer that was used as our reviewing stand,  Chris Winkle for the use of a bus and driver to shuttle people to and from the cemetery and back to the parade grounds, Tom Hill for the use of two outdoor conveniences.

Also, the Graphic Arts Department of Amity Senior High School for their banners, Pinpoint Pro Motions & Printing for their poster boards, Stitch and Print Logo Wear for their generous contributions, COSTCO for their donation,  Mr. Kold Kuts for their help, Stop & Shop for their donation.

Also, Bob Fantarella for his audio system, and Robert Mirto and Superior Roofing & Installation for the purchase of hats given to the World War II veterans.

Another special “Thank You” to Rich and Jeanne-Consiglio Hoin for their large food donation given in memory of Milton Consiglio, deceased, who also was a veteran.  Their donation was used for the World War II veteran’s luncheon held after the parade. Lastly, we thank the school readers and the boys and girls who handed out all the flags and programs during the ceremonies.

Generous contributions from private parties and organizations were received to honor our fallen veterans and to support the soldiers who are presently serving our country.

Kevin Gilbert,
Memorial Day Parade Coordinator