This might have been a lonely Memorial Day for Bill Vornkahl.
As “06880” reported this morning, the 90-year-old Korean War veteran recently lost his wife of 65 years.
And this year — for the first time in the 50 years he has organized Westport’s annual parade and tribute to fallen service members — the entire event was canceled, due to COVID.
But his family arranged a socially distanced cookout in the driveway of his Cross Highway home.
And in mid-morning — just like every year at Town Hall — Vornkahl heard “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Taps.”
The national anthem was sung stirringly by Nick Rossi. The 2019 Staples High School graduate — now a student at Boston College — is a veteran of Veteran’s Green. He played and sang at last year’s ceremony.
The mournful brass notes were sounded by Sam Atlas. The 2018 Staples grad is a trumpet major at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she plays in the orchestra, wind ensemble and chamber groups.
It was a fitting tribute for the man who is Westport’s “Mr. Memorial Day.” And he responded as any soldier would:
HEARTWARMING . . .
Certainly well deserved, and I’m sure much appreciated.
Mr. Vornkahl’s expression speaks volumes. What a thoughtful gesture by Nick and Sam, and their families. Thank you so much for honoring one of Westport’s most cherished veterans.