Veterans formally raise first flag at new splash pad park

Board of Aldermen Chairman and veteran Phil Vetro raises the flag Thursday at the splash pad at Eisenhower Park as veteran Walter Kupson salutes.

Two veterans raised the flag for the first time this week at the city’s new splash pad at Eisenhower Park.

As children and parents played on the splash pad Thursday morning, cooling off under the streams of water, Walter Kupson, a Navy veteran, and Milford Board of Aldermen Chairman Phil Vetro, a Marine Corps veteran, with the help of Mayor Ben Blake, formally raised the flag on the 33-foot flagpole.

The splash pad has been a big hit this summer, especially as temperatures have been so high. Pat Devine, a local builder, oversaw construction of the park, which was built in 13 weeks and completed just on time for the mayor’s planned July 4 opening.

The park features a number of water spraying devices, as well as a 25 by 100 foot building that includes changing rooms and bathrooms.

Crews from the Department of Public Works, along with subcontractors, did the work and Devine said it came out great. “The kids love it,” he said. “The smiles on their faces are unbelievable.”

Devine said he thought it would be a good idea to have veterans raise the first flag in a proper ceremony.

About a dozen people attended the flag raising ceremony, including Kupson’s wife, Marcia, son Craig Kupson, and grandson, Michael Kupson, as well as Alderman Karen Fortunati, and James Maroney, who is running for the State Senate in November.

A similar ceremony is planned soon at the sports complex on Orange Avenue.

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