WESTPORT — World War II veteran Ben Pepper, a 99-year-old Westport resident, has been named the grand marshal for this year’s Memorial Day parade.

Born July 5, 1923, in the Bronx, N.Y., and a town resident since 1958, Pepper was drafted to serve in the Army on New Year’s Day in 1943.

Trained as a paratrooper, Pepper was slated to be part of the Allies’ D-Day invasion, but broke his back on an earlier jump and was in a cast encasing nearly his full body at the time.

Later, however, Pepper saw action in the Battle of the Bulge. He was discharged from the service in October 1945.

He became a photographer and opened a studio in Stamford in 1953, and five years later, purchased the Westport home where he still lives.

The parade will start at 9 a.m. Monday, May 29. 

It will follow the traditional line of march through downtown, starting near Saugatuck Elementary School on Riverside Avenue, heading north and turning right onto Post Road West, crossing the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, turning left from Post Road East onto Myrtle Avenue, passing Town Hall and Veterans Green, and ending in Parker Harding Plaza.

If the parade is cancelled by inclement weather, a program will take place at 10:30 a.m. in the Town Hall auditorium, 110 Myrtle Ave.