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WEST HAVEN, May 29, 2018 — Grand Marshal Freddy Jackson, commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9422, steers the Memorial Day parade Monday morning, May 28, from a golf cart driven by city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo. Jackson is followed by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and her 8-year-old grandson, Arthur.
Jackson, an Army veteran who served in Colorado and Korea in 1963-66 during the Vietnam War era, led the 45-unit procession of vets, dignitaries and bands along Campbell Avenue.
The parade stepped from Captain Thomas Boulevard north to Center Street, where a sea of revelers, many of them donning patriotic colors and waving American flags, lined the 1 ½-mile course.
Jackson, 73, was originally selected to guide the 2016 and 2017 parades, but they were canceled by rain.
He was selected by the West Haven Veterans Council, which helps the city organize the annual parade, for his years of service to the Army, his fellow veterans and his community.
Jackson is a longtime member of Hughson-Miller Post 71 of the American Legion and served as commander in the early ’90s.
He has also volunteered for years at the West Haven Veterans Affairs Hospital.
The hourlong parade included a flyover by a C-130 Hercules, a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft operated by the Connecticut Air National Guard.
The event, in memory of the deceased members of the U.S. armed forces of all wars, is the oldest parade of its kind in southern Connecticut.
In addition to marching bands and veterans groups, including the Orange-based 103rd Air Control Squadron, the procession showcased the traditional contingent of youth organizations and sports leagues, dance and Scout troupes, fraternal organizations and service clubs, local and state leaders, police officers and firefighters.
(City Photo/David W. Richards)