With official parade canceled, Seymour plans Memorial Day alternative
SEYMOUR — Even though residents won’t be gathering downtown this year to watch the annual Memorial Day Parade, an alternative procession will take place May 25 to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as some surviving veterans.
The Seymour Parade Committee was forced to cancel the annual parade due to the coronavirus pandemic, but that didn’t stop members from coming up with an alternative motorcade that will venture through various parts of town.
The motorcade will step off at 11 a.m. Monday from Seymour High School. It will feature police, fire and emergency vehicles, members of the Board of Selectmen, parade committee members, town veterans groups and other local organizations.
The procession of vehicles will drive by the homes of three surviving World War II veterans, who reside at Emma, South Main and Summit streets, respectively, according to Committee Chairman Alex Danka. The committee will place signs outside the veterans’ homes, along with a soldier silhouette, to pay homage to their service. Members of the town’s American Legion Emil Senger Post 10 will stand guard outside the veterans’ homes.
The motorcade also will pass by the Pearl Street home of Col. Michael Casey of the Connecticut National Guard, then on to French Street past the home of Lauren Cust, a veteran of the Iraq War who was slated to lead this year’s Memorial Day Parade as grand marshal.
“We know Memorial Day honors the deceased, but we also want to support the veterans who lost fellow veterans, and to let know them we have not forgotten about any of them,” said Danka.
Danka said any local organizations that want to participate in the procession can, but must limit their vehicles to one per organization, and should put a sign on their vehicle identifying the group. Cars are asked to start lining up at Seymour High School, 2 Botsford Road, beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, and no later than 10:45 a.m.
Danka said he’d like to limit the number of vehicles participating to fewer than 100. While the procession is logistically unable to hit all roads in town, Danka encouraged residents to watch from a safe distance on their front lawns, wave flags and pay their respects.
Danka said the town was flooded with phone calls from residents upset upon learning the annual Memorial Day Parade was canceled, so the committee jumped into action to come up with an alternative.
“In these unprecedented times, we weren’t even going to do anything,” Danka said. “But on very short notice, we tried to come up with something that still honors the veterans. We hope to do a full parade later this year, perhaps for Labor Day, if possible. I will always try to make people happy in this town and do what I can to make them smile.”
Anyone who wants to be part of the procession should contact Danka by Sunday night via email at email@example.com.