Veterans Walk of Honor to be dedicated at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25
This event is weather-permitting; check back here after 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25, for details, including cancellation information
Veterans Council members and city officials will dedicate the seventh phase of the brick Veterans Walk of Honor at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Bradley Point Park.
Mayor John M. Picard will speak at the ceremony, which includes a presentation of colors, an invocation and a wreath-laying.
Many veterans and their families from the area as well as from out of state are expected to attend the tribute.
In November 2006, the council began the first of seven campaigns selling bricks to memorialize veterans on the 100-yard walkway between the William A. Soderman and Vietnam Veterans memorials.
The bricks, which cost $75, have charcoal lettering for personalized messages. More than 2,000 bricks have been installed.
The walkway’s first phase and the city’s first Korean War memorial were dedicated in May 2007.
In May 2008, the walkway’s second phase and a memorial in honor of World War II Army Pfc. William A. Soderman were dedicated.
Soderman received the Medal of Honor after he distinguished himself in December 1944 while defending an important road junction near Rocherath, Belgium.
Four years after his death, the flagpole in the seaside park was dedicated in memory of Soderman on July 1, 1984.
Public Works Commissioner Beth A. Sabo has overseen the construction of all phases of the walkway, which was built by City Point Construction Co., as well as the design and erection of the granite Korean War and Soderman memorials, which were crafted by Shelley Bros. Monuments of Guilford.
Also in 2008, 14 grave markers that signify every war in U.S. history and peacetime were dedicated. The markers are mounted on granite posts.
Subsequent dedications have been held amid much fanfare.
Lifeguard coverage kicks off Memorial Day weekend
Lifeguard coverage begins Memorial Day weekend along the city’s 3-mile stretch of public beach.
The service, overseen by the Department of Parks and Recreation, is offered at the Dawson Avenue, Sea Bluff, Oak Street, Altschuler Plaza and Morse Park beaches.
Lifeguards are on duty weekends only from May 25-June 23, daily from June 24-Aug. 9 and weekends only from Aug. 10-Sept. 2. Supervision is 10:15 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays and 10:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.
Lifeguard service is subject to cancellation at any time due to bad weather. The city is not responsible for those who swim at unguarded beaches during the cancellation of lifeguard service or before and after scheduled supervision hours.
Watercraft may not operate in designated swimming areas and must comply with state boating regulations.
Free beach parking is available for residents displaying beach stickers in the following municipal lots: South Street, Dawson Avenue, Sea Bluff, Bradley Point, Rock Street, Oak Street, Altschuler Plaza, Morse Park, Sandy Point and the April Street boat ramp.
A limited supply of stickers is available for those who do not have one because of a new or leased vehicle, windshield replacement or other reasons.
Upon entering the parking lots, residents and nonresidents are required to show constables a beach sticker, which is only valid if affixed to the inside lower left corner of a vehicle’s windshield.
To obtain a sticker, residents must provide a registration for each vehicle and a driver’s license — a paid current tax receipt for each vehicle may be used in lieu of the registration — to the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.
Residents needing a new sticker due to a windshield replacement must furnish a receipt for the repair.
Beach parking permits for nonresidents are offered for an annual fee of $75 and are available for purchase from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in the human resources office at City Hall.
Otherwise, the daily parking fee for nonresidents is $10 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and $5 after 5 p.m. in the Sandy Point, Morse Park and Bradley Point lots.
Thatcher at the helm of Memorial Day parade Monday, May 27
Vietnam War Army veteran Earle Thatcher Sr. will serve at the helm of the Memorial Day parade as grand marshal when it steps off at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 27.
Thatcher, 68, will lead the 50-unit procession of veterans, dignitaries and bands along the milelong parade course, which begins at Captain Thomas Boulevard and flows up Campbell Avenue to Center Street.
A member of Hughson-Miller Post 71 of the American Legion, he was selected by the Veterans Council, which helps the city organize the annual parade, for his years of service to the Army and his fellow vets.
Thatcher is sergeant major of Post 71 and is chairman of its Sons of the American Legion.
This year’s edition of southern Connecticut’s oldest and largest parade of its kind will feature three marching divisions and a military division, as well as special accommodations for disabled veterans.
The procession will include an eight-seat golf cart carrying former grand marshals that is bedecked with a star gracing the names of those deceased. Other veterans will ride on a float.
The parade will commence with a flyover by a fixed-wing aircraft. Thatcher will steer the procession from a convertible flanked by the West Haven Police Color Guard.
The hourlong event, in memory of the deceased members of the U.S. armed forces of all wars, will showcase an array of veterans groups, such as AMVETS, Jewish War Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Legion.
It will include the 103rd Air Control Squadron and the West Haven Coast Guard Auxiliary.
If it rains, the parade will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, June 2.
The procession will consist of four marching bands: West Haven High, Bailey Middle School, the New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society and the Connecticut Alumni Drum and Bugle Corps.
It will also spotlight the traditional contingent of youth organizations and sports leagues, dance and Scout troupes, fraternal organizations and service clubs, local and state leaders, and police officers and firefighters.
West Haven sets summer concert series
The city’s summer concert series will kick off June 7 on the Green with classic rock music played by Annie and the Mixers.
The two-hour concerts are free and begin at 7 p.m., with the exception of the final show, a benefit for the Friends of Fisher House CT, which starts at 6:30 p.m.
The annual Friday night concert series will follow with classic rock hits by the Nathan Ward Band June 14 on the Green, oldies by Sound Alternative June 21 on the Green and the Memphis Soul Spectacular June 28 in Old Grove Park. Band of Brothers will perform jazz standards on the Green July 5, followed by the funk of Avenue Groove July 12 in the Old Grove and oldies by Vinnie Carr and the Party Band July 19 on the Green. The diverse lineup will continue with dance rock anthems by Cover Story Aug. 2 and the Paul King Orchestra Aug. 9, both in the Grove.
The concert series will close Aug. 16 in the Grove with a special twin bill featuring party rock hits by Déjŕ Vu at 6:30 p.m., followed by Shaded Soul at 7:45. The show is being held in support of the Friends of Fisher House, which aims to raise $3 million to build a “comfort house” at the Veterans Affairs medical center for 20 families to stay. With several dozen built nationwide since 1993, Fisher Houses are designed to provide lodging for the families of wounded service members staying at VAs or other military hospitals and for veterans receiving outpatient treatment and their families.
Concerts postponed by rain will move to the same time and venue the following Monday. For rescheduling information, visit the Department of Parks and Recreation website, www.whparkrec.com
, or call the info line at 203-937-3677 after 4 p.m. the day of the concert.
— MICHAEL P. WALSH, Public Information Officer