Memorial Day 2021 Photo Gallery: Part 1

It was just like Memorial Days of old.

Last year, 20 first responders gathered at Veterans Day. A somber ceremony continued Westport’s decades-long Memorial Day celebration, in the midst of a global pandemic.

This year, crowds once again lined the parade route. Police, firefighters, EMTs, school bands, fifers and drummers, Boy and Girls Scouts, young soccer and baseball and lacrosse players, politicians — and many more — marched.

World War II and Korean War veterans rode proudly in convertibles.

Friends greeted each other. Newcomers marveled at what a small town Westport really is.

At the Veterans Green ceremony afterward, 1st Selectman Jim Marpe weaved together past Memorial Days, COVID, and this year’s celebration. He read the names of Westporters lost in the past year (including last year’s grand marshal, Patricia Wettach, a victim of the coronavirus).

This year’s grand marshal, World War II veteran Nick Rossi, was the man of the hour. His grandson, Nick Rossi, delivered a powerful speech. “Taps” rang out.

Westport is back. So is one of our town’s most cherished traditions. This is a Memorial Day we can never forget.

Grand marshal, 98-year-old World War II veteran Nick Rossi (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

WWII veteran, T/SGT Lawrence Aasen, 13th Airborne Division, age 98, at the ready. (Photo/Susan Aasen)

Getting ready for the parade (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

The vanguard of the parade turns onto the Post Road. (Photo/David Squires)

Mireille Perrin Delorey (21 months) at her first Memorial Day parade. (Photo/James Delorey)

In a thrilling gesture, Officer Eric Woods pulled Dylan Curran out of the crowd on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge to march with the Westport Police Department. (Photo/Rosanna Jon)

Dylan stands proudly with Chief of Police Foti Koskinas, and his force. (Photo/Stacie Curran)

Westport Emergency Medical Service (Photo/Matthew Slossberg)

Post Road collage (Photo/Burton Stuttman)

One fife and drum corps … (Photo/Irene Mastriacovo)

… and another, in a timeless shot. (Photo/Stan Witkow)

Post Road salute (Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

Go Blue Sox! (Photo/Molly Alger)

Surprise! (Not!) Once again, the always creative Y’s Men won the grand prize in the float contest. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Former 2nd Selectwoman Betty Lou Cummings (front) and friends.

Decades from now, these youngsters can say they saw World War II veterans at a Memorial Day parade. (Photo/Dan Woog)

For over 60 years, Korean War veteran Bill Vornkahl has organized Westport’s Memorial Day parade. This morning, he acknowledged the crowd’s sustained applause. (Photo/Dan Woog)

6 responses to “Memorial Day 2021 Photo Gallery: Part 1

  1. Fred Cantor

    Los of wonderful pics. The caption that really struck me: “Decades from now, these youngsters can say they saw World War II veterans at a Memorial Day parade.”

    • Thanks, Fred. My father — and probably yours too — remembered seeing Civil War veterans at Memorial Day parades when he was young.

  2. Jack Backiel

    I think I could be the only person alive to make this claim. Around 60 years ago, my father and I were visiting a priest my father knew, in the early 1940s, in a hospital, outside of Buffalo. As we were leaving, the Priest said to my father, “ Take your son over two beds to meet that guy so he can tell his grandchildren he met someone who fought in the Spanish-American War in 1898.” The war lasted just short of four months, and there were around 280,000 combatants. I think I’m the only person alive who can claim he met a soldier who fought 123 years ago, in the Spanish-American War.

  3. David Squires (Staples ‘75)

    Nice Parade,
    Nice Coverage,
    Nice Comments,
    Nice Town!!!!

  4. Jack Backiel

    Dan, The last Civil War vet died at age 106, in 1956. I specifically remember the announcement on the radio.

  5. Irene Mastriacovo

    Well, it took my husband and I 21 years to finally go to the Westport Memorial Day parade and it did not disappoint! It truly was memorable. To all the veterans and first responders with us today and those who passed, thank you for your service. And thanks for posting one of my photos, Dan!