Memorial Day Parades: We Remember

Last year around this time, I posted a fascinating video of Westport’s 1981 Memorial Day parade.

Tom Leyden had just bought a new-fangled video camera. Standing on Riverside Avenue near Assumption Church, he captured 21 minutes of the annual event:

Former Governor John D. Lodge and all the town bigwigs; the Staples High School, and Long Lots, Coleytown and Bedford Junior High bands; WWPT sports broadcasters, Little Leaguers, Scouts, Indian Guides, the Westport Historical Society — even Big Bird (and traffic cop/drum major Bill Cribari).

The video was so popular, I’m posting it again.

But Tom uploaded another parade to YouTube. This one is from 1969.

It’s grainier than ’81. There is no sound. It’s just as fascinating though — especially the final shot.

In those days, the post-parade ceremony was held at Jesup Green. On the left, you can see the town dump. (Today it’s the site of the Westport Library.)

That’s one of the few things that have changed, however. As Tom’s twin videos prove, Westport’s Memorial Day parade is timeless.

See you on Monday!

(PS: The ceremony is now at Veterans Green, starting around 10:30 a.m. It’s part of the event that should not be missed.)

5 responses to “Memorial Day Parades: We Remember

  1. Cathy Romano

    Thanks for the memories

  2. Patricia Driscoll

    Wonderful. Just saw my house on Myrtle Avenue. I had left for San Francisco about one week before the 1969 parade. I have great memories of marching in many parades and watching it from the rooftops on Main St.

  3. Michael Calise

    What a spectacular note to this Memorial Day Weekend! Thanks Tom.

  4. Mary Corrigan Tienken

    Thank you Mr.Leyden. That brought back a lot of fond memories of the parade and all of the Tamarac neighbors. Happy Memorial Day!

  5. So..confederate flag a bit disconcerting…otherwise, I know I was sitting on the sidewalk along the route in 1969 (unless I was marching as a Brownie…)