Senator Boucher Announces “Veteran of the Month Flag Ceremony” Honoring Army PFC Nicholas Madaras Of Wilton

July 10, 2009

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) is urging the public to join her at the “Veteran of the Month Flag Ceremony” being planned by American Legion Post 12 of Norwalk, in cooperation with American Legion Post 86 of Wilton, to honor Army Pfc. Nicholas Madaras, 19, who was killed in Iraq in 2006.

The ceremony will be held at 11 a.m., Sunday, August 2nd, at American Legion Post 12, 60 County Street, Norwalk. The media is invited.

“This will be a moving and beautiful tribute to a wonderful young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country,” said Senator Boucher, adding that a widespread desire to meaningfully honor the Wilton veteran has led to the founding of “Kicks For Nick”, an organization that collects soccer balls for distribution to youngsters in Iraq, and which has distributed 21,000 soccer balls to date. Nick Madaras’s mother, Shalini Madaras, who will be a speaker on August 2nd, has also been instrumental in the raising of funds for “Homes For The Brave, Forgotten Soldiers,” an organization that creates supportive housing for homeless veterans.

Veteran of the Month Flag Ceremonies are held on the first Sunday of each month at American Legion Post 12 in Norwalk. Family members are invited to participate in the ceremony which includes flying a flag in honor of the deceased veteran. The flag, which is flown until the next month’s ceremony, is later given to surviving members of the honored veteran.

American Legion 12 held its first Veteran of the Month Flag Ceremony in 1994 by Roy Benedict and Jack Weisheit, both members of American Legion Post 12 who were inspired by a ceremony conducted by an American Legion Post in Bantam. The first deceased veteran to have a flag flown in his honor was World War II veteran Tom Riley, a former Stamford school teacher who was a lifelong Norwalk resident.

In addition to Senator Boucher, those invited to participate in the ceremony honoring Army Pfc. Madaras include U.S. Congressman Jim Himes, Norwalk Mayor Richard Moccia, Wilton First Selectman William Brennan and Shalini Madaras, mother of Nick Madaras. Highlights of the ceremony will include the singing of the National Anthem and God Bless America; recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance; the reading of a POW/MIA message, prayers, the lowering of the flag flown for the most recently honored veteran, presentation and flying of colors and the new flag to be flown in honor of Army Pfc. Madaras; a motorcycle detail and a firing detail.

Senator Boucher said she often attends the monthly flag ceremonies at American Legion 12 in Norwalk as a personal tribute to Connecticut veterans. She added that she is honored to have been invited to participate in the flag ceremony honoring Army Pfc. Nicholas Madaras.

“It does not matter whether my husband, a veteran, or I personally knew the fine, brave individuals honored at the monthly flag ceremonies. We go because it is important to never forget the sacrifices made on our behalf by the men and women who fight for our country. Nicholas Madaras was a much-loved young man who is greatly missed by his family, friends and community. Because of his good example, youngsters in Iraq who love soccer as much as he did have soccer balls, instead of tin cans, to play with. Veterans are benefitting from the hard work undertaken in his memory by his mother, and others. He was a good man who spent his short life inspiring others, and I urge everyone who can to join me in honoring his memory at the American Legion flag ceremony on Sunday, August 2nd at 11 a.m.,” said Senator Boucher.