Old-fashioned picnic for Flag Day

Shelton residents and veterans gathered to honor their flag for an old fashioned picnic sponsored by the Shelton Economic Development Commission, Shelton Economic Development Corporation and Iroquois Gas Transmission System on Friday, June 9.

Shelton’s American Legion Post 16 adjutant, Al Sabetta, led the gathering in saluting the American flag. The Korean War veteran asked the crowd to do a favor for him after the ceremony.

“Get your family together, take a couple of minutes to do the pledge again and end it with a short prayer,” said Sabetta. “For all our people that are serving all over this world, they need our prayers. Things have become quite drastic, too much terrorism. That's all I ask is that one favor."

Sabetta then motioned for the members of the American Legion Sutter Terlizzi Post 16, named after Shelton’s first casualty in World War I, to fire off their rifles in saluting American military who gave their lives for the flag.

"Thank God we are at peace as we observe this joyous occasion in 2017. Flag Day ceremonies promote patriotism and respect for the flag,” said John Anglace of the Board of Alderman, who spoke on behalf of Mayor Mark Lauretti. “This annual observance remembers all those who have served, fought and many who have died under her banner.”

Anglace and Aleta Miner, who helped organize the picnic, also wanted to thank Marty Coughlin of the Shelton Historical Society for the establishment of Shelton’s Civil War monument. The moment rests behind the war memorial slabs in Veteran’s Memorial Park along the walkway. It honors those who lost their lives during one of America’s bloodiest wars.

“It resolved probably the greatest problem that faced the United States of America and that was inequality between whites [and] Afro-Americans, it united the country all in one nation,” said Coughlin. “No one was going to be automatically subservient to anybody else."

In addition to honoring the flag, the picnic also gave Shelton businesses the chance to network with each other.

"I think it's important because it helps strengthen us as a community, it brings businesses together to help grow our economy,” said Rashida Cundiff of People’s United Bank in Shelton and Ansonia.

Free Shelton Life pamphlets for June were distributed as well, giving information on how members of the military can be eligible to join The American Legion.