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”.
The annual procession in Downtown Hartford is the largest veterans parade in all of New England and one of the biggest salutes to veterans in the U.S. The parade is one of only 62 entities in the entire U.S. and the only Connecticut recipient of this prestigious honor. This is the third consecutive year that the parade has received this recognition.
The 13th annual “Connecticut Veterans Parade will step off on Sunday, November 4 at 12:30 p.m. near the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford and will march through the Downtown area. The parade will take place one full week before the nationwide observance of Veterans Day the following Sunday.
Last year, over 3,500 people marched or rode in the procession. The colorful parade honors the dedication and sacrifices of servicemen and women from all U.S. conflicts, and offers the state’s residents the opportunity to express their thanks. Special features will include a tolling of church bells and Moment of Silence when the parade pauses in observance of veterans who died while serving their country.
Event officials are sending out the call now to all towns and cities throughout the state for U.S. veterans, businesses, organizations and individuals to participate. U.S. veterans are encouraged to register now to march or ride in the 2012 Connecticut Veterans 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 also seek veterans groups, patriotic commissions, local municipalities, and marching bands and drill teams from colleges, high schools and middle schools, as well as pipe & drum and fife & drum corps from all over the state.
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 more than a decade ago.
Sponsorship dollars are needed to help to pay for the operations of the parade, which is organized by a nonprofit collaboration of veterans’ groups, corporations, local municipalities, businesses and civic organizations. Sponsors can include corporations, organizations, and individual residents who wish to make a contribution to the effort.
Financial contributions to support the parade can be made on-line at www.ctveteransparade.org OR checks may be written to “Connecticut Veterans Fund” and mailed to:
Connecticut Veterans Fund
1245 Farmington Avenue #338
West Hartford, CT 06107
Parade organizers are seeking scores of volunteers to help with a variety of hands-on responsibilities, before and during the parade.
Connecticut 6th, 7th and 8th graders are invited to enter the parade’s Student Essay Contest about “What It Means to be a Veteran“, and the top winner will ride in the 2012 parade. A 2012 Parade Grand Marshal and Honorary Grand Marshals will be announced in the coming months.
This 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.
To register to march or volunteer in the 2012 Connecticut Veterans Parade, enter the Student Essay Contest or learn more about becoming a parade sponsor, visit www.ctveteransparade.org or call the Parade Info Phone at 860-986-7254.