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Nature Park Named For Enfield Casualty of Vietnam War

The Angelo Joseph Sferrazza Memorial Park was dedicated on Memorial Day after remaining in limbo for more than four decades.

Spec4 Angelo Sferrazza. Photo credit: courtesy Sferrazza family
Spec4 Angelo Sferrazza. Photo credit: courtesy Sferrazza family
A resolution passed by the Enfield Town Council more than 45 years ago finally came to fruition Monday, with the dedication of a park in honor of one of the town's fallen sons.

More than 16 acres of wooded land starting at the Parsons Road boat launch was named the Angelo Joseph Sferrazza Memorial Park, in memory of Enfield's first casualty of the Vietnam War.

Army Specialist 4 Sferrazza, a 1962 Enfield High School graduate, was killed in action in the Soc Trang Province of South Vietnam on July 11, 1966. He was 22 years old, and was the first of four Enfield men who would die in the conflict in southeast Asia.

Ed Deni, who graduated a year after Sferrazza, recalled him as "a quiet kid, but with a dry sense of humor."

Sam Fiore, Sferrazza's cousin, said Angelo had been serving in Germany upon being drafted, and volunteered to go to Vietnam but "he didn't tell many people because he didn't want them to worry about him."

In Aug. 1966, the Enfield Town Council adopted a resolution to lease, for a dollar a year, a 16-acre parcel of land owned by the Windsor Locks Canal Company, "for the purpose of a town recreation area to be developed through the joint efforts of the Jaycees, Enfield Chamber of Commerce, Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and any other interested groups over the next two years."

Just over a year later, in Nov. 1967, the council unanimously passed  a resolution expressing thanks to the contributing groups "for the hard work and valuable services they have so generously donated in order to make the Angelo Sferrazza Riverview Park a reality."

Minutes of that meeting state, "Citizens of the Town of Enfield will soon have [at] their disposal an outstanding facility in a beautiful and natural setting for picnicking, boating and general recreation...this Council pledges its fullest support toward the final completion of this most worthwhile project."

More than four decades later, fulfillment of that promise finally came to pass, due to the efforts of Councilman William "Red" Edgar and other town officials.

Mayor Scott Kaupin presided over the Memorial Day ceremony, which included the unveiling of a sign alongside the entrance to a nature trail.

Enfield Police Chief Carl Sferrazza, Angelo's brother, spoke fondly of his older sibling and expressed appreciation to the town for honoring his supreme sacrifice.

"It was an honor when I saw his name on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., but this means even more," he said. "He's a son of Enfield, a hometown kid, and his hometown came out. He represents all the soldiers who have sacrificed, and today, Memorial Day, was an appropriate time for this." 

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