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Brian Boyd, Editor, Shore Publishing/Zip06.com
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Since when did our civic commemorations in Branford become politicized? Well, apparently since this past Memorial Day. Let me explain.
I look forward to Memorial Day, but not for picnics and parades, but rather for the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of service, freedom, and yes, mortality. I think about those who have served, and died (and are now dying in V.A. Hospitals around the country). I think about the uncle I never knew, a fighter pilot who perished in World War II—this year especially, as we mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the deadliest military conflict in history, causing 70- to 85 million deaths.
Normally, there’s a ceremony on the Branford Green followed by a parade. The current health crisis canceled any pubic gatherings—or so I assumed. To my utter astonishment, I see a Facebook post with pictures of a Memorial Day ceremony on the Branford Green. Had I known, I would have attended—appropriately masked and distanced, of course. Republican leaders—first selectman, the RTM majority leader, and others—were present along with (my favorite) Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corps.
So I wondered, where were our other town leaders? Specifically, where was Selectman Ray Dunbar, a Navy veteran, and Tom Brocket, the RTM minority leader and distinguished Vietnam veteran? It turns out that neither was informed about the ceremony! What a sad and disappointing shame.
If we truly are in this together, shouldn’t that cooperative motto also apply to our civic commemorations? Honoring our fallen soldiers is not a partisan issue. Failing to notify all our town leaders is an unacceptable oversight and a worrisome sign of incompetent, or worse, sinister leadership. Branford must do better than this.
Editor’s note: According to the Branford Veteran’s Day Committee, which organized the event, the committee invited only members of the American Legion and VFW in an effort to limit exposure during the pandemic; others present were not invited by the committee.
The 2020 guide to the Madison Chamber of Commerce has arrived!