By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Members of the West Haven Veterans Council and city officials will dedicate the 11th phase of the brick Veterans Walk of Honor at 5 p.m. Saturday in Bradley Point Park.
All veterans are invited to participate in the seaside ceremony, which will feature patriotic readings, a presentation of the colors and taps, as well as remarks from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Veterans Council President Dave Ricci.
Rossi’s executive assistant, Louis P. Esposito Jr., will serve as the master of ceremonies.
In November 2006, the Veterans Council began the first of 11 campaigns selling bricks to memorialize vets on the 100-yard Walk of Honor between the William A. Soderman and Vietnam Veterans memorials.
The bricks, which cost $75, have charcoal lettering for personalized messages.
More than 2,650 bricks have been installed so far, including 56 for the 11th phase and 100 for the 10th phase, which was dedicated last May.
In May 2015, the dedication of the eighth phase included the dedication of a granite stone in memory of Lorelee “Lori” Grenfell, longtime president of the Veterans Council, who died Feb. 19, 2015, at age 60. The memorial was crafted by Giordano Bros. Monuments of Derby Avenue.
The Walk of Honor’s first phase and the city’s Korean War Memorial were dedicated in May 2007.
In May 2008, the walkway’s second phase and a memorial in honor of World War II Army Pfc. William A. Soderman were dedicated.
Soderman received the Medal of Honor after he distinguished himself in December 1944 while defending an important road junction near Rocherath, Belgium.
Four years after his death, on July 1, 1984, the flagpole in Bradley Point Park was dedicated in Soderman’s memory.
City Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo has overseen the construction of all phases of the walkway, which was built by City Point Construction Co. of Fresh Meadow Road.
Sabo has also supervised the design and placement of the granite Korean War and Soderman memorials, which were made by Shelley Bros. Monuments of Guilford.
Also in 2008, 14 grave markers that signify every war in U.S. history and peacetime were dedicated. The markers are mounted on granite posts.
Subsequent dedications have been held amid much fanfare, attracting hundreds of veterans and their families from every corner of the state and beyond.