April 24, 2014 11:51AM
By Jesse Buchanan
When Cheshire and Amity high school football players meet on the Cheshire High School field for Friday night’s game, their jerseys will bear not their own names but names of a veteran close to them. Those veterans will also be at the game watching from the stands after walking onto the field with their sponsor players.
The night is led by the high schools’ BRAVE students, which “stands for ‘Bringing Remembrance to All Veterans Everywhere,’” according to Social Studies Department chairman Ralph Zingarella.
Area towns will honor veterans with ceremonies, school assemblies and awards on and around Monday.
On Monday, Cheshire will hold its Veterans Day observance on the high school football field at 11 a.m. following a breakfast to honor veterans at 10 a.m. Board of Education Chairman Gerald Brittingham, a Marine veteran, will speak at the ceremony.
In previous years, events have taken place in front of Town Hall on South Main Street. Zingarella said that event wasn’t held in favor of the high school’s ceremony.
Meriden’s event will take place at 10:30 a.m. on Monday at the Stop & Shop Plaza across from the veterans monuments. Police and fire department members will attend along with speakers from the community according to Rich Couture, commander of the United Veterans Council.
St. Stanislaus Catholic Church will hold an annual mass at 8 a.m. for the Polish Legion of American Veterans and any other veterans who attend. The mass is followed by a breakfast at the Polish Legion’s headquarters on East Main St.
Southington veterans of the Korean War will be honored at this year’s ceremony on Monday. This year is the 60th anniversary of the end of that conflict.
Steve Pintarich, past commander of American Legion Post 72, said a member collected certificates from the U.S. government for about 600 Korean War veterans or their families in the case of those who had died. Those certificates will be announced on Monday and will be available at the legion for pickup by veterans or those who know Korean War veterans.
The legion will also honor Southington School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi Jr. for the school district’s work for veterans. Pintarich said the school will receive the Blue Star banner, which has been given to only two other local businesses for their support of veterans.
“To us, that’s a very high honor,” Pintarich said. “(The school’s) program has just taken off.”
Each school in the district has a different program but all support veterans, according to Pintarich.
On Tuesday, a military concert will be held at the Southington High School Auditorium. The high school marching band will perform the music beginning at 7 p.m. and the $5 entry fees will be donated to the Fischer House for recovering veterans in Bristol.
David Gessert, Wallingford American Legion Post 187 commander, said the town will observe Veterans Day with a ceremony on the town green at 11 a.m. Dick Miller, a 100-year old Army veteran of World War II, agreed to attend.
“We’re going to try to get him there,” Gessert said.