With Flag Day and the upcoming Fourth of July celebrations in mind, organizers of the 2012 Connecticut Veterans Parade are sending out a call to all veterans, businesses, organizations and individuals in towns and cities throughout the state to march.
The 13th-annual procession is scheduled to step off on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 12:30 p.m. near the state Capitol in Hartford. Marchers will proceed through the Downtown area. The Connecticut Veterans Parade will take place one full week before the nationwide observance of Veterans Day the following Sunday.
The organizers of the Connecticut Veterans Parade are billing it as one of the biggest in the nation. Last year, more than 3,500 people marched or rode in the procession. The parade honors servicemen and women from all U.S. conflicts, and is designed to give Connecticut residents a chance to express their thanks. Special features will include a pause in the parade for the tolling of church bells and a moment of silence to honor veterans who died while serving their country.
Organizers are asking U.S. veterans to register well in advance to march or ride in the parade.
Any Connecticut resident who is an active, retired or honorably discharged member of the U.S. Armed Forces including commissioned officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard, and Reserves is welcome to participate.
Parade organizers are also seeking the participation of veterans groups, patriotic commissions, local municipalities, and marching bands and drill teams from colleges, high schools and middle schools, as well as pipe and drum and fife and drum corps from "all over the state."
Organizers are also seeking sponsorships to supplement the Connecticut National Guard's management efforts with the city of Hartford.
Parade organizers are seeking scores of volunteers to help with a variety of hands-on responsibilities before and during the parade.
Connecticut students in grades 6, 7 and 8 are invited to enter an essay contest regarding “What It Means to be a Veteran." The winner will have a chance to ride in the 2012.
A 2012 grand marshal and honorary grand marshals will be announced in the coming weeks, organizers said.
This 2012 parade will begin near the 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 the parade will pass a reviewing stand at the corner of Main and Gold Streets across from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art. Marchers will finally make a right onto Capitol Avenue, where the parade will end at Hudson Street.
The event is expected to last about two hours.
To register to march or volunteer or write an essay in the 2012 Connecticut Veterans Parade or learn more about becoming a parade sponsor, visit www.ctveteransparade.org or call the Parade Info Phone at 860-986-7254.