Almost 100 groups marched down Route 16 as part of the 54th annual Wellesley Veterans Parade and presented themselves to presiding officer Tori DeFazio and other members of the Celebrations Committee at the reviewing stand in Wellesley Square. This year’s parade theme was the 90th anniversary of the Purple Heart (here’s a list of all Wellesley Purple Heart medal recipients). As always, the parade also honored all United States military veterans, and recognized the many organizations and people who serve the Wellesley community.
More than a dozen individuals and organizations were recognized during the event. From Parade Grand Marshal Constantin Chrysafidis, a former Wellesley resident at 35 Fells Rd. for many years and a Purple Heart recipient after being wounded in battle during World War II, to posthumous Community Service awardee Catherine L. Johnson for her dedicated public service on behalf of the Town, the event allowed for somber remembrances in a celebratory atmosphere. Here are profiles of each of the 17 honorees.
The Celebrations Committee last held Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend in October 2021 as a comeback from COVID (the event was canceled in May 2020 and 2021). Here it is, seven months later, and they turned around and put the whole shebang together again, just to remind us all that Wellesley’s Wonderful Weekend is a spring thing. After covering both weekends from one end to the other, we’re all worn out. But we’ll be all rested up by next May and ready for more fun.
From remembering our Veterans, honoring Veterans among us to enjoying the sight of younger generations, this parade always fills me with appreciation to be here and gratitude for all my neighbors who work at ensuring a safe, beautiful and inspiring Wellesley in the future.