Uploaded by Michael Dinan on 2014-05-26.
The video above (there’s also a slideshow here) features clips from New Canaan’s 2014 Memorial Day Parade—held on a picture-perfect, clear and warm spring day—as well as from the solemn, dignified ceremony at Lakeview Cemetery that followed.
There, we heard from the Rev. Eric Fjeldal of the United Methodist Church on South Avenue, as well as First Selectman Rob Mallozzi, Peter Langenus, commander of VFW Post 653, and guest speaker Gary Macintyre of New Canaan, a U.S. Navy veteran. Wreaths were placed at the bottom of a flagpole later lowered to half-mast in honor of the United States’ fallen military members, including by Grand Marshal John Wilson.
In introducing Macintyre, Mallozzi described him as both a “longtime New Canaan resident and small business owner.”
Macintyre started his career in the U.S. Navy as a reservist, Mallozzi said, and after graduating from Norwalk Community College he went on to active duty as a petty officer in navigation on board the USS Grand Canyon.
“During his active duty tour, he served as a quartermaster in the Atlantic and Mediterranean during the Vietnam War,” Mallozzi said. “Following his honorable discharge, he received a bachelor’s of science degree in architecture from the University of Miami, and founded the Macintyre Associates Architects.”
Active in the community serving as an adult leader in New Canaan’s Boy Scouts Troop 70, Macintyre also serves on the Building Board of Review and the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Congregational Church. His brother George is a founder of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets, Mallozzi said, represented at the parade.
In his remarks, Macintyre said that most towns in the nation have a cemetery similar to Lakeview, where veterans are honored—but that the Navy has “two large cemeteries.”
“One is called the graveyard of the Atlantic, the other the graveyard of the Pacific,” he said. “They are quite different from other cemeteries.”
“There is no tomb to the unknown sailor, or sentries pacing back and forth. There are no grave markers with names and dates upon them. There are no monuments to famous battles fought. There is no American flag stuck in the ground next to them. There is no fancy entry with large bronze gates, nor is there any grass to cut. There are no visitors meandering around to pay their respects. Their coffins range from all-wooden ships, to aircraft carriers, battleships, from destroyers and subs. Many still have their soldiers at battle stations. And of course there are scores of aircraft, many with their pilots still in them. The ocean floor is strewn with thousands of sailors, as burial at sea was a proper and honorable send-off.”
On Memorial Day, Macintyre said, the Navy sends two ships to sea—one on the east coast, one on the west coast.
“Proper ceremonies and salutes, a wreath is placed upon the water to let our shipmates know, we haven’t forgotten them. If you would like to honor our sailors, please do so.”
Mallozzi in his closing remarks thanked Bo Hickey and Lakeview Cemetery management for a “beautiful job of maintaining” the grounds—including flagpole painting and pond dredging, as well as Langenus and Pam Flynn, his assistant at Town Hall who coordinated the event with Langenus. Attendees were told that ice cream would be given away following the ceremony, that there were hot dogs and soda up at the firehouse and that veterans were invited to lunch by the VFW at the Masonic Lodge.