Darien Memorial Day Parade Panel Picks Drawing Winners

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Winners of the second annual Memorial Day Parade Children’s Drawing Contest showcase their artwork. From left are Alexandra Martin, Selectman Susan Marks, Caroline Gies and Ian Schneeberger.
Winners of the second annual Memorial Day Parade Children’s Drawing Contest showcase their artwork. From left are Alexandra Martin, Selectman Susan Marks, Caroline Gies and Ian Schneeberger. Photo Credit: Contributed

DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien’s Memorial Day Parade Committee announced that the winners of the second annual Memorial Day Children’s Drawing Contest.

Caroline Gies, 5; Ian Schneeberger, 6; and Alexandra Martin, 7, were named the winners. The contest encouraged Darien’s kids to show their patriotism and reflect on the significance of Memorial Day by creating original drawings. 

The winning artwork portrayed the children’s spirit in an age-appropriate manner. In recognition of their efforts, all three children have been invited to march alongside town officials in the Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 26.

“Congratulations to Caroline, Ian and Alexandra for their patriotic drawings of what Darien’s Memorial Day parade means to them,” said Selectman Susan Marks. “This contest and our town parade give the entire community an opportunity to remember the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our great country.” 

Caroline Gies is a prekindergarten student St. Thomas More Happiness Preschool. Caroline drew a picture of herself wearing a yellow dress in front of the American flag saying the Pledge of Allegiance on a picture-perfect day with sunshine and beautiful spring flowers. 

Ian Schneeberger is in kindergarten at Hindley Elementary School, and his drawing shows a marching band playing for the audience on the bleachers. 

Alexandra Martin is a second-grader at Tokeneke Elementary School. Her drawing depicts a Memorial Day parade carriage carrying Uncle Sam. 

In addition to hosting the drawing contest, this is the second year the Memorial Day Parade Committee has planned and executed the parade.

The committee, made up of more than 10 Darien residents, officially took the reins from Phil Kraft last year, who along with the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission, had planned the parades for 12 years.

Walter R. McCurdy, a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, is this year’s grand marshal. He served in World War II in the Naval Air Corps from 1945 to 1947. During the Korean War, Lt. McCurdy also served aboard the destroyer William M. Wood DD715 and as executive officer of the USS PC 1141 in the fleet out of Pearl Harbor, and in the South Pacific Islands from 1951 to 1953. He was vice president of Bristol-Myers Squibb for many years and served as director of the MBA program for Fordham University. 

Immediately following the parade festivities, residents can attend the Memorial Day ceremony held at the State Veterans Cemetery in Spring Grove.

For more information or to inquire about volunteering, contact Sara Franzese at sara@franzese.net or Kate Kuras at katekuras@optonline.net.

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