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Monday, November 19 Local

Greenwich plans slate of events to honor veterans

GREENWICH — Greenwich will salute the service of the town’s veterans in a series of events throughout the Veterans Day weekend.

The centerpiece will be the annual Veterans Day Patriotic Walk down Greenwich Avenue, which will lead into a ceremony at the town’s World War I memorial at Arch Street. The walk is open to veterans and their families as well as anyone in the public who wants to show support.

Those taking part in the walk are invited to bring photographs of relatives and friends who served in the military. A Greenwich Police Department motorcycle escort will lead the way, accompanied by local youths from the Greenwich Boy Scouts and the Boys & Girls Club of Greenwich.

The walk will start at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, with the ceremony at the memorial scheduled to start promptly at 11 a.m. That is the traditional time to observe the armistice that ended World War I — the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The ceremony is hosted by Greenwich’s American Legion Post 29 and the Veterans Appreciation Council.

“The Greenwich Veterans Day Patriotic Walk and ceremony are a wonderful way to honor our veterans and all those who are continuing to serve in the armed services to protect the freedoms we hold so dear,” said state Rep. Livvy Floren, R-149, a member of the council. “We are here because they were there.”

The forecast calls for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-40s on Sunday. But the ceremony will be moved inside to the nearby Public Safety Complex if it is cold or rainy.

Dean Gamanos, a town resident and veteran, will deliver the keynote address at the event, which marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The ceremony, led by American Legion Post 29 Commander Peter LeBeau, will culminate with the laying of a wreath at the base of the memorial.

Floren will also present the Young Person of the Year Award to James Heavey, son of town Chief of Police James Heavey. He is president of Greenwich High School’s senior class and was recently given the Connell Award at Boys and Girls State as the delegate who most represented the program’s ideals.

Afterward, veterans and their families are invited to the Redmen’s Home Association at 17 E. Elm St. at noon for a luncheon. David D’Andrea of the association said he expected nearly 160 people to attend.

“It’s one of our main causes along with giving scholarships for Greenwich students and supporting adult day care programs for our seniors,” D’Andrea said. “We’ve had a lot of veterans in our organization, and that’s really fueled our efforts. They deserve our support, and they deserve to be honored.

“The veterans of the past and the veterans of today are the ones that gave us our freedom and protect it. We’re so grateful to them.”

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The luncheon is open to all. Veterans and their families will get priority seating. The USO Girls will also put on a patriotic performance to show off the association’s support for veterans.

Also, at 5 p.m. Sunday, the Byram Veterans Association will host its annual parade starting at its headquarters at 300 Delevan Ave. An open house will follow at Hornik Hall, which is the group’s headquarters.

At 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the Cos Cob Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10112 will hold its annual ceremony at its memorial on Strickland Road, across from the Bush-Holley House. Parking is available at the nearby marina.

The post, which recently marked its 50th anniversary, holds ceremonies on Memorial Day and Veterans Day every year. The public is encouraged to attend.

On Monday, which is the Veterans Day holiday, Greenwich’s public schools will hold ceremonies and events to recognize veterans both locally and across the country. In many schools, veterans come in as speakers, and special assemblies and classrooms lessons on Veterans Day are scheduled.

The annual Cos Cob School ceremony has been canceled due to the flooding damage there. But the district promises to make up for it next May with its Memorial Day ceremony at the reopened school.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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