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Update: Blumenthal Declines Invitation

Attorney general and U.S. Senate candidate Richard Blumenthal politely turned down the town's offer to participate in the Memorial Day Parade . Campaign spokesperson Maura Downes told Darien Patch that Blumenthal would be spending the holiday privately with his family. Downes added that Blumenthal wanted to spend more time with his son, Matthew, who will be home on leave from the Marine Corps Reserves.

Downes also said the candidate did not want to be a distraction from the holiday's meaning. "He is committed to keeping the focus of Memorial Day weekend on veterans," she said. "He believes that it's a solemn occasion and a time that should be spent 100 percent honoring the men and women in the armed forces that have given their lives in defense of our country."

Monuments and Ceremonies Commission chair and Veterans of Foreign Wars Darien Post #6933 commander Phil Kraft, who made the offer to Blumenthal Wednesday night, told Patch that the invitation was not a political stunt, considering Blumenthal's recent issues concerning veterans , but was an offer that is often made to elected officials. "I'm not making this huge political statement," he said. "I'm just making it known that our offer always stands."

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