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HARTFORD, CONN., October 19, 2012 – New England’s largest salute to veterans will take place on Sunday, November 4 at 12:30 p.m. at the 2012 “Connecticut Veterans Parade”. The 13th annual parade will step off near the State Capitol Building in Hartford, one full week before the nationwide observance of Veterans Day the following Sunday. Special features will include a tolling of church bells and a 1:30 p.m. Moment of Silence when the parade pauses in observance of veterans who died while serving their country. A Wreath-Laying Ceremony to remember veterans will be held at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at 11:30 a.m., before the parade.
“This parade is a very poignant tribute to the dedicated servicemen and women of all conflicts who stepped forward so we that can continue to enjoy our freedom,” explains Paul F. Pendergast, President of the Connecticut Veterans Parade and a U.S. Air Force veteran. “We encourage people from all corners of Connecticut and beyond to come line the streets and say ‘Thank You’ for their sacrifices.”
The 2012 Parade Grand Marshal is Lieutenant Colonel Michael Zacchea of Brookfield, a veteran of the U.S. Marines who runs the University of Connecticut’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, and is director of veterans’ outreach and support for UConn’s Graduate School of Business. The three Honorary Grand Marshals are: Major Frank A. Tantillo of Tolland, a member of the Connecticut Guard who served two tours of duty in Afghanistan; Captain Dori (Zink) Freer of Shelton, who flew helicopters for the U.S. Navy for 26 years and now is Senior Program Manager at Sikorsky Aircraft, overseeing its UH-60M Utility Blackhawk and HH-60M MEDEVAC product lines, and Flight Officer Connie Nappier, Jr. of New Britain, a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps and member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. Full descriptions about each of the four Parade Marshals can be found at www.ctveteransparade.org.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Veterans Day Committee in Washington, D.C. has recognized the “2012 Connecticut Veterans Parade” as one of the nation’s official “Veterans Day Regional Sites” for the third consecutive year. The parade is one of only 62 entities in the entire U.S. and the only Connecticut recipient of this prestigious honor.
The colorful parade is organized by a nonprofit collaboration of veterans’ groups, corporations, local municipalities, businesses and civic organizations. The Connecticut National Guard assists with the management of parade logistics, and the City of Hartford hosts the event. Many of the members of the Parade Planning Committee have been involved in the parade since its inception in 2000.
The 2012 parade will begin near the Connecticut State Capitol at the intersection of Buckingham St. and Washington St., and travel north up Trinity Street and through the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch. Marchers will then make a right onto Pearl Street, then make a right onto Main Street where it will pass a reviewing stand at the corner of Main & Gold Streets across from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, and finally will make a right onto Capitol Avenue where it will end at Hudson Street. The event is expected to last for 2 to 2½ hours.
Several Downtown Hartford parking garages and surface lots will offer discounted or free parking on parade day. There is no cost on Sundays to park at Downtown Hartford street meters, except in restricted areas.
For more details including a map of the parade route for the November 4 “Connecticut Veterans Parade”, go to www.ctveteransparade.org or call the Parade Info Phone at (860) 986-7254.
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