Danbury War Memorial hires new homegrown executive director

by Zack Murdoch Danbury Newstimes (Sunday, 7/1/18)

DANBURY -- The Danbury War Memorial has hired a new homegrown executive director.

Justin Calitro took the helm of the nonprofit recreation center and veterans memorial this month and hopes to bring a new energy to the downtown staple.

"I'm really excited about it and I think I can help energize the place," he said last week. "We do so many things for so many people that some might not realize it all, so we're looking at attracting some new people here and maybe some new programs."

The 23-year-old Danbury native is a 2013 graduate of Danbury High School and graduated from Sacred Heart University last year with a dual major in finance and sports management.

Calitro is the son of city Planning Director Sharon Calitro and younger brother of local football standout Austin Calitro, who recently resigned with the Seattle Seahawks. He returned home to Danbury last summer to begin his post-graduation job search and worked with a local pool company for a time.

The opportunity to lead the War Memorial was a natural fit to put his new expertise to use to help grow community programs, he said.

"I thought it was a great combination of exactly what I've been studying and I'm happy they selected me," he said. "I have some ideas for how we can grow, so I'm looking forward to it."

The memorial includes meeting rooms, the fitness center, the Veterans Walkway of Honor and a slew of other monuments for veterans. It is part of dozens of programs and community events throughout the year, from driver's education classes to martial arts to dance classes.

Calitro will be responsible for the overall management of the facility, its programs and opportunities to expand both, said Richard Mark, chairman of the nonprofit's board of directors.

"He comes on board at a great time after multiple facility improvements over the last few years made possible by grants from the Connecticut Institute for Communities," Mark said. "We look forward to working with Justin to expand the offerings of the Danbury War Memorial."

2018 Upcoming Ceremonies & Events

Maine Day Ceremony, Thursday, February 15th at 10:00am at the monument corner of West St. and Division St.

Vietnam Memorial Ceremony, Thursday, March 29th at 10:00am at the Vietnam Monument in Rogers Park.

Veterans Walkway of Honor, Monday, April 23rd, brick order cutoff date for the 2018 Memorial Day installation.

Memorial Day Parade, Monday, May 28th starting at St. Joseph's Church at 6:30am, wreath laying following church service.  The parade steps off promptly at 9:30am.

Korean Memorial Ceremony
, Friday, July 27th at 10:00am at the Korean Monument in Rogers Park.

World War II Ceremony
, Wednesday, August 15th at 10:00am at the Rose Garden in Rogers Park.

9th Annual Danbury War Memorial Golf Tournament, Wednesday, August 22nd at 1:30pm at Richter Park. Call (203)743-3932 for more information. All net proceeds from this outing will help the War Memorial continue to serve the community.

Vietnam Moving Wall Ceremony, Monday, September 24th at 10:00am in front of the War Memorial Building.

Veterans Walkway of Honor, Monday, October 8th, brick order cutoff date for the 2018 Veteran Day installation.  This will be the final date to purchase bricks!  No other bricks will be sold after this date.

Veterans Day Ceremony, Sunday, November 11th at 11:00am in front of the War Memorial Buidling.

Pearl Harbor Day Ceremony, Friday, December 7th at 10:00am inside the War Memorial Building.

Information

Contact Info

Danbury War Memorial
1 Memorial Dr
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: (203) 743-3932
Email: Justin Calitro (Director)
jcalitro@war-memorial.org
Information:
info@war-memorial.org
or use our Contact Us form.

Directions

From New York
Interstate 84 - Exit 5
Straight through stop sign to traffic light
At light take right onto Main Street
Follow to end
Last light on Main Street straight into Rogers Park
War Memorial is the first building on left

From Hartford/New Haven
Interstate 84 - Exit 5
Take right at light onto Main Street
Follow to end
Last light on Main Street straight into Rogers Park
War Memorial is the first building on left

The Danbury War Memorial was built in 1951 and was designed and built in honor of the men and women who fought in World War I and II.  Just after World War II ended, every morning, students at Danbury High School put their pennies and nickels in a pot to fund a memorial to honor those who so recently served their country.