New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has declared the week of Oct. 13-20 Military Appreciation Week. The Mayor issued a proclamation at Muddy Waters Cafe this morning noting the city’s long ties to the military and praising all who served in the different service branches.
“I ask all New Londoners to join me in honoring the men and women of our armed forces, and their families, who sacrifice so much for the freedoms that we all enjoy,” the mayor said. “May God continue to bless them and keep them safe."
During the week, participating New London businesses will offer discounts or otherwise recognize both active-duty military and veterans who patronize their businesses. The program has been organized by OpSail Connecticut, the New London-based group headed by John S. Johnson that earlier this year staged the Connecticut Schooner Festival.
Joseph Geraci, an OpSail Connecticut board member, who spearheaded the effort, cited the city’s maritime heritage and association with the Coast Guard and Navy, and added that his group wanted to honor those on active duty that those have served in those branches and all of the armed forces.
“Military appreciation week is but a small thank you for the honor and support that service personnel and their families have provided to New London,” he said.
Dr. Geraci said participating businesses will be identified by a colorful poster in their window. The poster was designed and donated by the New London marketing firm of Quinn & Hary.
Geraci, who worked with Jeff Harris and Barbara Neff in developing the project, said the participating businesses are: Copperwood Grill, Custom House Maritime Museum, Exchange, Garde Arts Center, Jan Electronics, Muddy Waters, Nathan Hale School House, Northern Lights Gems, State Street Saloon, Sweeties Bakery & Café, Studio 33 Gallery, TDP Art Studio (home of the drunken palette), and Papi Ice Cream.
Bob Ross, executive director of the state’s Office of Military Affairs, praised the organizing group for the recognition week and for its efforts to include the military in both OpSail 2012 and this year’s schooner festival. He also expressed appreciation to the city businesses taking part in the week-long observance.
“The military families who serve our country and live in our communities enrich the social landscape of southeastern Connecticut through community service in so many large and small ways,” he said. “To the many businesses of New London, thank you for your hospitality and appreciation of those who serve.”