A second veteran has just been selected for Darien’s new Wartime Veteran Street Sign program.

The late Richard F. Costello, a longtime Darien resident, served as Quartermaster Second Class in the U.S. Navy during World War II, from 1942-1946. He then returned to active duty during the Korean conflict. He died in 1993.

Costello’s name will be added to the Moore Street sign in town.

At a recent Monuments & Ceremonies Commission meeting, program founder Lucy Berry, who teaches eighth grade history at Middlesex Middle School, said Costello’s family is “so honored and really incredibly excited.”

The purpose of the Wartime Veteran Street Sign program is to honor Darien wartime veterans by adding their names to existing street signs in town. The added name does not change any street address.

The first veteran honored in the program was Charles (Chick) Scribner, who was recognized in May. Two signs on Fairfield Avenue now contain Scribner’s name on them.

The date of the next Veterans Street Sign Ceremony is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 3, at noon.

Applications to nominate a veteran for the program can be found on the town website by searching Veteran Street Sign Program.

Veterans Day Ceremony

Darien’s Veterans Day Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 at the Veterans Circle in front of Town Hall.

Commemorative Bench Program

The Parks & Recreation Department is now accepting donations for those who want to sponsor a bench for its Commemorative Bench Program.

The purpose of this program is to honor a loved one or someone special in the community.

Benches can be purchased through the Parks & Recreation Commission.

The Parks & Recreation Department will be maintaining the benches. Commission members would like to develop a townwide process by which sponsoring a bench should be accepted.

The commission is now considering the wording that will be put on the plaque for each bench.

In regard to sponsoring the plaques, Monuments & Ceremonies Commission member Terry Gaffney questioned whether the town should be asking for a monetary donation.

“I don’t know that any town entity should be actively encouraging a dollar price tag to a plaque,” he said.

He added that more information should be provided to identify the people on the plaques. Information should include what role or impact the person played in the town, and whether the plaque will be in recognition of or in memoriam to that person.

Town’s 200th anniversary

There will be three townwide mailings to spread the news about the town’s 2020 anniversary celebrations.

The first will be a save the date notice, to be sent out in October or November.

The second is a tri-fold, which will be mailed in January of 2020, and a third will be another save the date mailing later on in 2020.

The 2020 opening ceremony will be Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall auditorium. There will be a keynote speaker. Guests invited include state and federal representatives as well as the governor. Following the ceremony, there will be a champagne toast at the Darien Historical Society.

There will also be a celebration as part of the Weed Beach Festival on June 6.

June 12 is Anniversary Day at the Slawson Cemetery, where Thaddeus Bell, the town’s founder, is buried. “We’ve earmarked funds to restore his wife’s gravestone, which is in very, very bad condition,” Darien’s Bicentennial Committee Chairman Alan Miller said.

“We will be asking some of the churches to ring their bells and possibly the fire department, too,” he added.

On Heritage Day in the fall, the Bicentennial Committee will be partnering with the Mather House and the Darien Historical Society. There will be reenactments, food, and entertainment.

Regarding finances, the Board of Selectmen must approve all donations to the commission that exceed $10,000.

Cemetery update

Cemetery Committee Vice Chairman Tracy Root said the committee continues to pick up trash and fallen limbs.

“We drive around at least several times a week [to local cemeteries],” she said.

Several massive trees fell over the summer. Everything was cleaned up, Root added.

Social media

The commission is considering using social media as a form of spreading the word about its happenings.

Commission member Loren Gomez will mock up a sample of an Instagram page to show the commission at its October meeting. Members can further discuss this and share their opinions at that time.

“I think it’s a wonderful way to get our message out,” Monuments & Ceremonies Commission Chairman Dave Polett said.

Watch the full meeting on Darien TV79.