Memorial Day Parade marches into memories

Kaila Finn, Web News Editor

From the starting notes of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” until the final steps to Town Hall, Westport’s annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26 brought out many Westporters’ patriotic sides.

Onlookers would agree that Westport really demonstrated how spirited they could be, as one Staples Band marcher, Marta Clanton ’16 said, “The crowd was really supportive!”

The crowds could hear the first marchers, Park City Pride(a drum and bugle company)from their very first tune, sounding claps of excitement and anticipation. Soon the EMS squad and World War II veteran marchers commanded reverie from the crowd.

This respect especially quieted the crowd in awe of the veterans float that won the Best Overall Float. It depicted an ode to the soldiers of D-Day with veterans’ guns pointed, paintings showing a scene of war and sound effects that emulated the noises of battle.

This float, as well as other more somber depictions, reminded the crowd that this parade was bigger than celebrating with red, white and blue.

“We as a society tend to forget that today was not a day for just barbecues and sleeping in, it was a day to remember,” said EMT Volunteer Jaime Bairaktaris ’16.

Nonetheless, the parade highlighted a fair share of other things that distinguish our country and Westport like the Women’s Auxiliary’s float of Betsy Ross creating the American flag, Bedford, Coleytown, and Staples bands, as well as the ever-popular Builders Beyond Borders group.

Other paraders elicited cheers and shouts, partially for candy, but also support for Westport’s array of teams, including Little League Baseball, PAL Lacrosse and the Westport Soccer Association.

As flags waved, ice-creams eaten, and floats charged forth, spectators seemed to deeply respect the importance of honoring the veterans while immersing themselves in classic American culture.

Girl Scout Mackenzie Wood ’16 agreed, saying with a smile, “It’s fun in general being able to see everyone come out and basically the entire town get together to celebrate and appreciate our country and it’s fighters. To be apart of that is such an honor.”