Report by Paula Antolini, May 19, 2019, 1:00PM EDT
This Sunday, May 19th, is the Bethel Memorial Day Parade which will take place at 2:00 p.m.
The parade begins on Greenwood Avenue near the Bethel Cinema, winds down Greenwood, turns left at P.T. Barnum Square, left again at School Street and ends at the CJH Municipal Center, with a ceremony planned there.
Wreaths will be placed at several monuments and cemeteries around town including the Spirit of the American Doughboy monument in P.T. Barnum Square, the Veterans Monument on the CJH Municipal lawn, the Soldiers’ Monument in Centre Cemetery, and other locations (see list below).
Memorial Day is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered, traditionally observed on May 30 but now officially observed on the last Monday in May.
According to history.org, Memorial Day was first widely observed in May 1868. The celebration commemorated the sacrifices of the Civil War and the proclamation was made by General John A Logan. Following the proclamation, participants decorated graves of more than 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
In years since World War 1, the day has become a celebration of honor for those who died in all America’s wars, as well as those who are Veterans and current members of the US military.
In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday.
AMERICAN MEMORIALS IN BETHEL AND NEARBY:
- Bethel/Redding – Putnam Memorial State Park (Revolutionary War Memorial); Opened 1890; Located 429 Black Rock Turnpike; http://putnampark.org/ also at http://putnampark.org/putnam-park-history.htm
- Bethel Soldiers’ Monument (Civil War); Dedicated May 30, 1892; Located Centre Cemetery, South Street; http://www.chs.org/finding_aides/ransom/006.htm
- In Memory of All Bethel Veterans; Dedicated May 21, 2000; Located front Clifford J. Hurgin Municipal Center; http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=21234
- Plumtrees Honor Roll; Dedicated – Unknown, email sent to obtain information; Located intersection of Plumtrees Road and Taylor Road; http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=55005
- Spirit of the American Doughboy (World War I); Dedicated 1928; Located intersection Glenwood Avenue and PT Barnum Square; http://www.hmdb.org/Marker.asp?Marker=21233; also at http://doughboysearcher.weebly.com/connecticut.html