Hundreds of residents lined the streets in Shelton and Derby Monday for the annual Derby-Shelton Memorial Parade, one of the oldest such parades in the state.

This year's ceremony included World War II veteran Roy Glover laying the wreath honoring all those who lost their lives defending this country's freedom. Mayor Mark Lauretti and U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3) were on hand for the ceremony.

Combined with the memorial service on Sunday before the parade, these observances have their origins with the Civil War veterans of the two communities who formed the organization known as the Grand Army of the Republic, whose stated goal was to remember with appropriate solemnity their fallen comrades who died in defense of freedom.

Over the years, separate parades and memorial services were held in White Hills and Huntington as well as the combined efforts of Shelton and Derby. During World War II, the parades were suspended but memorial services continued to be observed. In 1961, the Memorial Day Parade Association was officially organized to carry on the tradition.

The foundation for these observances can be found in General Order Number 11, issued May 5, 1868, to the members of the Grand Army of the Republic, by its first commander, General John A. Logan.