Come Monday morning, as parade marchers make their way down the Post Road toward the Spring Grove Cemetery, they will turn to salute Grand Marshal Lt. Walter McCurdy at the reviewing stand before entering the property.

McCurdy, 87, is a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

He served in the U.S. Naval Air Corps from 1945 to 1947. During the Korean War, McCurdy was aboard the destroyer William M. Wood DD715 and was an executive officer in the USS PC 1141 in the fleet out of Pearl Harbor and into the South Pacific Islands from 1951 to 1953.

McCurdy, who lives in New Canaan, could not be reached for comment.

George Walsh, a member of the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission, suggested McCurdy serve as the grand marshal, according to Phil Kraft, chairman of the commission.

"He knows his stuff and knows the older guys who are still around and who are the unsung heroes," Kraft said.

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The Darien Memorial Day parade will step off at 10 a.m. Monday, May 26, from the Goodwives Shopping Center on Old Kings Highway North, proceed up Brookside Road and turn left onto the Post Road to the Spring Grove Cemetery, where Commander Joe Gibaldi will speak.

Walsh could not be reached for comment.

The Memorial Day Parade Committee, made up of more than 10 Darien residents, officially took the reins from Kraft last year, who along with the Monuments and Ceremonies Commission, had planned the parades for 12 years.

"It's a fun tradition that runs itself," said Sara Franzes, co-chairman of the Memorial Day Parade Committee. "People look forward to doing it every year."

Last year saw the creation of the coloring contest that drew a few entrants. This year, Franzes said, the committee received 25 entries. The three winners will walk alongside town officials in the parade.; 203-330-6583;@Meg_DarienNews