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30 Deacons Ln
Wilton, CT, 06897
United States

The Lt. John G. Corr Memorial Award is presented each year, along with a framed certificate and medallion, to the graduating senior of Wilton High School who, in the opinion of the Directors, best personifies the devotion to his studies, the participation in sports, the qualities of true leadership and the exemplary personal character and patriotism of the man whose name it bears.

Veterans Memorial Stadium

Wilton High School
November 11, 2014
Veterans Day Ceremony

Speech by Bruce Cunningham:

Before I get started, I again would like to thank all the veterans and members of our military for taking the oath, serving and fighting for our country.

Wilton high school opened its doors in 1958. The site of the first high school was currently where cider mill school is located. The football field and track was always here, at this current location. When watching a football game back then, there were no stands or bleachers to sit in, rather the fans sat on a hill where you are currently all seated.

On December 28, 1967, word spread through the town of Wilton about the death of Lt. John Geyer Corr, a United States Marine, while serving his country in Vietnam. Upon hearing of his death two things happened, the first was the creation of the Lt. John Geyer Corr Memorial Award, which is still given out today as the oldest award at Wilton High School and, secondly, plans for a stadium were made to honor all the men who had given their lives for our country during the Vietnam War.

On Saturday, September 28th and Sunday, September 29, 1968, members of the Wilton Father’s Club and Varsity Club members gathered at this site to erect the home bleachers.  The Father’s Club was responsible for the original concept, fundraising, development, and the ultimate construction of the stadium.  No longer would Wilton football fans have to stand to watch the their Warriors play.

The stadium was built as a lasting tribute to the young men of Wilton who so valiantly served, fought, and died for our country. On Homecoming Day, October 19, 1968, Wilton’s Memorial Stadium was officially dedicated. Six flags flew that day, one for each individual who made the supreme sacrifice in Vietnam.

On Homecoming Day, October 11, 1969, a second dedication occurred honoring two more men of Wilton who died while fighting for their country in Vietnam as well.

These types of dedication ceremonies would have been considered controversial in many parts of the country during that time, but not in Wilton.

On October 30, 2009, Nick Madaras was the last man to date, to be honored for fighting and making the supreme sacrifice for our country.  On that night, the garden near the concession stand, which includes stones of each of the nine men honored and a stone documenting the stadium’s history, was unveiled.

The stadium name had been changed to “Veterans Memorial Stadium”. There have been additions and renovations on this site over many years. This stadium has become more than just an athletic facility to this town, it also serves as a community gathering place, a place of celebration on July 4th and graduation day for all Wilton High School students.

On the day of the first dedication in 1968, a full color guard of each branch of the military was present, a flag flew for each of the men who were honored. A wreath was laid at the foot of the flag pole at the north end of the stadium, a revolutionary war cannon was fired after each honoree’s name was called and four helicopters hovered over the stadium for a brief moment before flying away.

Today, just like in 1968, 1969 and 2009, the names of the nine men will be recited, a color guard will lead the procession to the garden, a flag will be placed behind the stone of the honoree and a wreath will be laid at the base of the stone. The memories of the nine men will be forever honored here.

Please stand to honor each of the nine men who gave the supreme sacrifice for our country this Veteran’s Day and please remain standing for the playing of “Taps”.