New arch at Trumbull park honors fallen soldiers

TRUMBULL — “Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it ... It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

That quote, the source of which is unknown, is inscribed on the new arch encircling the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Park entrance. The arch, which sits on the Twin Brooks Park side of the Vietnam Memorial Bridge, began construction last year, said Ray Baldwin, former Trumbull first selectman who is active in local veterans causes.

He said he and Trumbull Parks and Recreation director Dmitri Paris have been in conversation about the arch for a while.

“He came up with this design,” Baldwin said of Paris.

The way the arch sits allows it to frame the American flag on the Vietnam Memorial Green. Baldwin said he was pleased that the arch was completed before Memorial Day, allowing for a fitting additional tribute to local soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam.

“It fits the theme of Memorial Day and remembering. Anybody who gave their lives in that conflict,” he said. “It’s a great entry into Vietnam Memorial Park.”

Baldwin said the Parks and Recreation Department’s work on the project is typical.

“Trumbull takes good care of its veterans,” he said.

Baldwin is also chair of the building committee for the new Trumbull Veterans and First Responders Center, an ongoing project to construct a 5,500-square foot facility at 1 Veterans Circle at Kaatz Pond. The project is slated to cost between $4 million and $4.5 million and is expected to be funded largely through state and federal grant money.

In addition to Baldwin, others in the local veteran community are excited about the new archway at the memorial park, including Ernie Foito, Commander of A.V. Napolitano American Legion Post 141 in Trumbull. Like Baldwin, Foito praised the memorial for paying tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for their country.

“The view through the archway frames the American flag in all its glory and the inscription honors all those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Foito said. “It is a fitting tribute to the Vietnam Memorial.”