Retired Fairfield Fire Chief and World War II Navy subchaser veteran David W. Russell saw the need for a replacement flagpole for St. Anthony of Padua Church after last March storms blew the old one down, so he approached Fire Chief Richard Felner, himself a retired Marine, to see what the two could do.

Working together with Bob Sabo and Michael Yransky of St. Anthony's, along with former Southport Volunteer Fire Department Chief Larry Coyle, the group arranged for the installation of replacement pole just in time for Monday's Memorial Day Parade, which steps off right up South Pine Creek Road at the Post Road. The new flagpole is also in place in time for the following evening's Bridgeport Area Retired Firefighter Mass, which will take place at St. Anthony's.

Father John Baran will be blessing the flagpole for a formal flagraising ceremony, but Thursday afternoon the final hardware and flag were installed and raised to half-staff in honor of Connecticut Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Edwin Rivera of Waterford, who died in Afghanistan late Tuesday night.

St. Anthony's is located at 149 South Pine Creek Road, Fairfield.