On Wednesday, we learned that the Veterans Day parade in the capital city has been canceled. Organizers of the Connecticut Veterans Parade say they are not planning a November procession in Hartford this year, citing the high cost of running the event and difficulty raising money. The sponsoring group, the nonprofit Connecticut Veterans Fund, put the cost of the parade at $100,000, funded largely through corporate and individual donations.
On the one hand, we are sad that this tradition will be suspended. The event is billed as the largest veterans parade in New England and traditionally includes thousands of active, retired and honorably discharged military members.
On the other hand, we have no doubt that Veterans Day events will continue, this year and every year, in our cities and towns. Last year, New Britain, for example, hosted a parade, along with ceremonies across the city. Parades were also scheduled in Bristol and Forestville, Southington, Newington, Plainville and Berlin, despite showers.
All at a price tag that’s far more manageable than the statewide event would have been.
“It’s really quite nice that the people feel that your service meant something,” said John Lynch, of the Marine Corps League Hardware City Detachment. “We get more out of it probably than the spectators do.”
As it should be, since it’s the veterans we set out to honor.
And, we’d guess, one factor that makes it so meaningful is that it’s happening at home, among neighbors and friends, where families get the chance to share with their children the importance of the day - and to point to local heroes.