Considering the “Memorial” in Memorial Day

Newsletter Volume 2 • Number 51

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Celebrate and salute those who gave their lives for us

This weekend we welcome the return of summer vacations, the Town Party, and outdoor barbeque at the beach. Some cheer holiday sales too. We’d like to remind you to also take a moment this Memorial Day to engage in a more solemn activity, honoring the men and women in uniform who sacrificed their lives to serve and protect our democracy.

Perhaps unique in history, our military was formed to support and defend not a king or country, but an idea, the Constitution of the United States. This radical act has engendered hope, freedom, and prosperity around the globe for over 200 years. So we asked some who served in the armed forces what Memorial Day means to them.

Kip Burgweger

Captain, U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps, 1964-1967; Fort Meade, MD; Fort Bragg, NC; Saigon, Vietnam; Bronze Star for Meritorious Service

“In church on Sunday before Memorial Day, either I carry, or I arrange for another veteran to carry, the American flag leading the procession to the high altar.  When we reach the altar, we hold the flag high and then, while singing “America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee)”, we lower it in memory and honor of those members of the military who had no greater love than this, to lay down their life for their country. To me, Memorial Day means, foremost, a time to celebrate and salute those who have gone before us.”

Thomas J. Jordan

Father of BOE member Kathleen Stowe. Captain, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, active duty 1963-1965; NJ National Guard 1965-1971

When I march this weekend, I will remember family and friends who served in WWII, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I feel lucky to have served in the DMZ, and make a point of reminding my grandchildren to never forget about all those who died fighting for their freedom: 400,000 in WWII, 36,000 in Korea, 58,000 in Vietnam, and 7,000 in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Thomas Jordan in Korea

Bob DeAngelo

Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, 1977-1984. Naval Flight Officer, USS Independence (CV-62) aircraft carrier Persian Gulf/Indian Ocean; Fighter Squadron 202, Naval Air Station, Dallas, TX

“Every Memorial Day morning, I think of a buddy, Lt. Barry ‘BC’ Cook, who we lost during Desert Storm in an A-6 Intruder. He left behind young twin daughters and a wife. Freedom is not free! Barry’s spirit is there when I talk with and work with young people who are thinking about serving our country. I share with them that they will play on many teams in their lifetime, but the best team you can play for is for your country.”

Robert Brady

LTJG, U.S. Navy, Vietnam, 1964 – 1966. Served on USS Vernon County, LST-1161; later in a Lighterage Division, Port of Da Nang

“On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, I think about those serving who took the oath to ‘support and defend’ and go into harm’s way. That oath, of course, has no termination clause. There’s no release upon leaving active duty or completion of a reserve obligation. So my remembrance bends toward thanking all who served.”

Bob Brady, circled, in Da Nang, Vietnam, in 1966, with the “Lighterage Division,” which ran about 60 landing craft supplying Marine units in the region.

Joseph Kantorski

E-5, U.S. Army 7th Medical Brigade, O.R. Technician, S-3 Training Officer, 31st Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, 1968-1970, Hoechst, Germany

“As a draftee conscientious objector I was trained as an operating room technician and served in an Army MASH unit in Germany. Living in a different culture and learning what a wonderful opportunity I had to serve my country, I came to realize an even greater appreciation of the idea called America.

To cherish and protect the freedom to speak our minds, to pursue our happiness, is to honor those who gave their lives for us. To exercise our right to vote, to govern ourselves, is to honor those who gave their lives for us. Memorial Day is a day worth every minute remembering them and what we owe them.”

After one Republican
flips—traffic safety action plan grant passes finance board

It should have been a slam dunk, but the traffic safety study that was rejected by the Board of Estimate and Taxation’s Republicans last month barely squeaked by on a reconsideration vote Monday. Traffic and pedestrian safety ranks at the top of residents’ concerns, yet, five Republicans on the town finance board voted again to reject money that could be used to unlock millions of infrastructure dollars for safer streets.

However, this time a single, lonely, Republican voted to accept the grant, along with the board’s six Democrats—a big win for Greenwich. This initiative clearly has bipartisan support in our town and addresses issues that are a priority for residents.

Why do Republican BET members reject returning taxpayer dollars to Greenwich?

For months, the Department of Public Works (DPW) and our First Selectman had been asking the Board of Estimate and Taxation to accept a $400,000 federal Safe Streets for All grant to create a traffic safety plan that would make Greenwich eligible for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law money, now totaling $3 billion, to fund our local projects.

There have been letters to the editor, testimony from dozens of residents at numerous public forums, and formal requests from DPW, the RTM Transportation Committee, and the First Selectman asking the BET to reconsider its initial rejection.

This time, five BET Republicans still voted no. Makes you wonder, who are they representing? Now the grant goes to the RTM, where it is expected to pass easily.

Greenwich commemorates Israel Independence Day

Israel’s flag raised alongside the American flag outside Town Hall, May 13.

A somber crowd gathered outside Town Hall last Monday to mark Israel’s birthday. Founded 76 years ago, Israel’s existence is as precarious today as it was at its founding in 1948. Jews living in the United States are not immune. According to the ADL, anti-semitic incidents have spiked by 360% since the attack on Israel in October. The gathering on Monday, organized by UJA-JCC Greenwich was a striking reminder of our community’s bond with Israel.

Old Greenwich Memorial Day parade. March in one of our favorite events of the year! Sign up and join us under the Democratic banner to pay tribute to the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedoms.

Honor victims and survivors of gun violence on National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Wear orange. Noon, Greenwich Town Hall.

Greenwich Pride 2024. 1:00 p.m. at Greenwich Town Hall. Join this family-friendly day of fun to celebrate our LGBTQ+ Greenwich community.

Meet fellow Democrats and learn about our plans at our monthly meeting on June 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room.

Our next book talk is with authors Louise Story and Ebony Reed who have just published Fifteen Cents on the Dollar, How Americans Made the Black White Wealth Gap. Refreshments provided, space is limited. Sign up here. 7:00 p.m., Sorokin Gallery, 96 Greenwich Ave.

Join Democrats from every corner of the state for this annual dinner bash featuring House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries. Write “Greenwich Table” in the Additional Information field to be seated together. RSVP

Volume 2, Number 51 • May 23, 2024
Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.
Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836