By Michael P. Walsh
Special to the Voice
Because of rain last weekend, West Haven Veterans Council members and city officials will now dedicate the 14th phase of the brick Veterans Walk of Honor in Bradley Point Park at 5 p.m. Saturday.
All veterans are invited to participate in the seaside ceremony, which will feature a flag-raising, an invocation and a wreath-laying, as well as remarks by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Veterans Council President Dave Ricci.
The public is also invited.
State Rep. Dorinda Borer (D-115) will serve as the master of ceremonies.
In November 2006, the Veterans Council began the first of 14 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.
About 2,900 bricks have been installed so far, including 58 for the 14th phase and 130 for the 13th phase, which was dedicated June 5, 2021.
In May 2015, the dedication of the eighth phase included the dedication of a granite stone in memory of Veterans Council President Lorelee “Lori” Grenfell, who died in 2015 at age 60. The memorial was crafted by Giordano Bros. Monuments of West Haven.
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.
On July 1, 1984, Bradley Point Park’s flagpole was dedicated in memory of Soderman, who died in 1980.
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 West Haven.
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 signifying 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 all corners of Connecticut and beyond.