Friday, May 28, 2010

Local Towns Observe Memorial Day with Parades, Services

By Larry Favinger
Staff Columnist
Memorial Day will be marked by parades, speeches, and the laying of wreaths at memorials to those who fought and died in America’s Wars.
High and middle school bands will take part in the ceremonies and parades in most Southern Maine towns as will members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, police and fire departments and scouts of all ages.
Veterans of the more recent conflicts will also take part in the parades, most of which will conclude with ceremonies at war memorials or cemeteries.
VFW members, in some cases with the help of local scouts, have placed American flags on the graves of veterans in both public and private cemeteries. In South Berwick and York alone more than 2,000 flags have been placed honoring veterans.
Speakers for the events this year include Cmdr. Paul L. Dinius, captain of the USS Helena that is undergoing overhaul at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Cmdr. Dinius will speak in South Berwick, the host town of the Helena.
In York, Sgt. Maj. Andrew Binger, United States Marine Corp, retired, will speak and in Eliot the speaker will be Retired United States Air Force Maj. Gen. Lee Downer.
The Second Annual Memorial Day Concert and Ceremony will be held at noon Saturday at Fort McClary State Park on Pepperrell Road in Kittery Point.
The original Memorial Day, then known as Decoration Day, was proclaimed by Gen. John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic in 1868 calling for the placing of flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War. It was first called Memorial Day in 1882 and was then so proclaimed by President Johnson.
A partial list of parades and ceremonies planned for Monday include:
9 a.m. Parade from the Elementary School with services at the library following the smaller services at Mount Pleasant Cemetery and Brooks Cemetery.
1:45 p.m. Parade from Town Hall to Mousam River Bridge for services in memory of sailors and Marines. Parade to memorial monument for ceremonies and decoration.
9 a.m. Parade from the ambulance station on Walker Street to Orchard Grove Cemetery.
11 a.m. Parade from Bourne Lane on Shore Road to the square and Ogunquit River Bridge for remembrance of those lost at sea ceremony. Parade to Veteran’s Park for additional ceremony.
10 a.m. Bicycles decoration contest for K-3 students at Central School. 10:30 VFW Color Guard ceremony at the Vietnam Memorial at Town Hall. 11 a.m. Parade from Central School to the War Memorial at Portland Street.
9 a.m. Parade from Wells High School to Wells Corner and on to Ocean View Cemetery.
9 a.m. Parade from St. Christopher’s Church in York Village to First Parish Cemetery with laying of wreaths at memorials along the route.