The heavy rain Monday morning looked like it might put a damper on the Darien Memorial Day parade . But the sun came out just in time for the town to pay tribute to those who have given their lives in service of this country. The Post Road was lined with smiling flag-wavers as the procession marched its way down to Spring Grove Cemetery .
Phil Kraft , commander of the Darien VFW , open the cemetery ceremony, which featured speakers, prayers and a ceremonial wreath. Tokeneke fifth-grader Chris Vernal led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance before First Selectman Dave Campbell stood and read the names of the 92 men from Darien who died fighting in America's wars. After the names from each war were read, a bell was rung three times to reflect on and honor those men.
Andrew Aoyama from Boy Scout Troop 35 read Gen. John Logan's Order 11 , which originally designated May 30, 1868, as Decoration Day, later renamed Memorial Day. "We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds."
Cadette Scout Katie Schorr read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and the High School Tudor Singers sang a rendition of "America, The Beautiful." Campbell and parade Grand Marshal Bill Flanagan then placed a ceremonial wreath at the cemetery's monument to fallen soldiers. The Darien VFW saluted the soldiers with a 21-gun salute, and Kristin Carey and Charles Lacy of the Darien High School Band played "Taps" on their trumpets. The Rev. Paul Murphy of St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church closed the ceremonies with a prayer of benediction before the crowd dispersed.
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