Ceremonies Commission Names Darien’s 2021 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal, Keynote Speaker

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Navy veteran Peter Kenyon will be the the grand marshal for Darien’s upcoming Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31, and Sharad Samy will be the keynote speaker at the ceremony after the parade, the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission announced.

The Memorial Day ceremony at the Veterans Cemetery in Spring Grove Cemetery is scheduled to take place at 11:30 a.m.

Parade Marshal: Peter Kenyon

From the announcement about the parade marshal:

Commander Peter Kenyon served on active duty in the Pacific from 1963 to 1966, aboard USS Bausell (destroyer DD-845.) While attached to the 7th Fleet they engaged in plane guard duty, naval gunfire support (shore bombardment), Search and Rescue operations, amphibious task force escort duty, Formosa Patrol, and Anit Submarine patrols.

Peter Kenyon 2021 Darien Memorial Day grand marshal

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Peter Kenyon

Pete qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer, a Command Duty Officer, Tactical Action Officer, Officer of the Deck (both Fleet Activity and Independent Steaming), CIC Watch Officer, and JOOD.  His assignments included Electronics Officer, CIC Officer, Intelligence Officer, and Administrative Officer.

After active duty, Pete served in the Navy Reserve service from 1966 to 1985, mainly in Convoy duty units, and with three short tours on reserve destroyers, and a final tour on the Naval War College Reserve Staff. Pete had 2 tours as a Commanding Officer (VTU and NCSO).

Pete serves as the executive officer of the Navy SEAL RDAC, an all-volunteer mentoring program to place recruits in the SEAL program.  This program has a success ratio of 73% graduation rate.  He also serves on the Navy League of the United States, Connecticut Council.

Pete’s community service included 14 years on Darien’s Representative Town Meeting, and in six of those years he served as moderator. He was a member of the town’s Environmental Protection Commission for 10 years, including a stint as chairman.

Pete is on the boards of the Darien Old Timers Athletic Association and the Middlesex Genealogical Society.

Pete is a member of Saint Luke’s Parish (serving in the Vestry, the Usher Ministry, and the Community Supper Ministry), the Piedmont Club, the Darien Men’s Association, and the Darien Community Association.

He and his wife Kathy raised four children, who went through Darien public schools, and all four of them live within three miles. They have six grandchildren.

Keynote Speaker: Sharad Samy

From the announcement about the keynote speaker:

Sharad served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1997-to-2008 as a Major and Judge Advocate in the Bronx and Germany.

Sharad Samy, 2021 Darien Memorial Day keynote speaker

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Sharad Samy

He deployed to Djibouti, Africa in connection with Operation Enduring Freedom, and settled death claims and advised on humanitarian relief operations in the Horn of Africa. Sharad currently serves as a major in the Connecticut National Guard.

Sharad currently serves as general counsel to The Common Fund for Nonprofit Organizations, which provides stewardship and investment management of funds of education organizations and other non-profit organizations.

He is a Board member for the Karam Foundation, which helps Syrian refugees, both here and abroad.  Sharad serves on the Board of Directors for Lawyers for Children of America, which provides pro bono legal counsel to children in neglect and abuse cases.

He is also a a Trustee for the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs and serves on the Community Engagement Board for the state Division of Criminal Justice.

Locally, Sharad served on the town Board of Assessment Appeals from 2012-to-2017.  He is an active member of Darien VFW Post 6933, and volunteers in local Wreaths Across America fundraising.

Sharad and his wife Katherine are proud to be both naturalized citizens and Darien residents.  They are parents to three lovely children.

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