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New Canaan Veterans to Lead Way at Memorial Parade

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A pair of Korean War veterans will be the grand marshals of New Canaan’s annual Memorial Day Parade.

Longtime residents Jim Bach and Mario “Ben” Benedetto will be the stars of the show as New Canaan honors military veterans in the parade, which will begin at 9:30 a.m. and travel on Main Street to the Lakeview Cemetery.

Capt. Leon Krowlikowski of the New Canaan Police Department, a Marine veteran who served in the Gulf War, will be the guest speaker for the memorial service.

Bach, who was born in New Canaan in 1929, was drafted into the Army out of Columbia University in New York City and served as a supply sergeant in the Army during the Korean War. He was involved in the last three months of the war and served for nine months in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea following the July 1953 truce. Bach came home and became a sales manager with Dean Witter Reynolds and Morgan Stanley for more than 40 years.  In town, he implemented the Gold Star Walk Memorial in Mead Park.  Bach is board president of the Schoolhouse Apartments complex and is a board member of the New Canaan Historical Society.

Benedetto enlisted in the Army after graduating from New Canaan High School in 1945. He was originally supposed to go to Okinawa, Japan for an American invasion of Japan, but his orders changed after atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. Instead, Benedetto served with an American occupation force in Korea for more than a year, processing surrendering Japanese soldiers who were placed on ships and sent back to Japan.  After returning to the United States, Benedetto worked at Sillman’s Hardware Store and worked as an estate manager for a large private estate. He also wrote a sports column for the New Canaan Advertiser. He is also author of “The Old Neighborhood: New Canaan, Connecticut during the 1930s and 40s.”

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