HARTFORD — - The 10th annual Connecticut Veterans Day Parade will make its way through the city's downtown Sunday beginning at 1 p.m. as more than 4,000 marchers take to the streets near the Capitol.
Organizers say they expect more than 25,000 spectators at the parade, which features a "special salute" to veterans who served during the Vietnam War. The parade will include flyovers by military aircraft and other events to honor veterans.
"We hope to give these veterans a heartfelt Connecticut 'welcome home' that many of them never received," Linda S. Schwartz, the state's commissioner of veterans' affairs, said in a statement. She was an Air Force nurse during the Vietnam War.
About 300,000 veterans live in the state, the parade's organizers said, and those marching in the parade are expected to include those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Any resident who is an active, retired or honorably discharged member of the U.S. armed forces, including commissioned officers, warrant officers and enlisted personnel of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, National Guard and reserves, may participate.
Also marching will be veterans' groups, patriotic commissions and marching bands and drill teams from throughout the state, organizers said.
The parade's grand marshal is Capt. Paul W. "Buddy" Bucha, U.S. Army retired, of Ridgefield. Bucha is a Vietnam veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor. He was honored for bravery during a 1968 mission near Phuoc Vinh, Binh Duong Province, and is actively involved in national security and veterans' issues, organizers said.
Before the parade, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at noon at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Arch at Jewell and Trinity streets at Bushnell Park.
The parade will start at Buckingham and Washington streets, traveling north along Trinity Street, passing under the arch, taking a right on Asylum Street and then making its way to Main Street. It ends on Capitol Avenue.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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