As we draw closer to Memorial Day it’s important to remind ourselves and teach our children the significance of Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

Memorial Day this year is May 29.

Belfast services and parade

8 a.m. Memorial Service in front of the America Legion Post on High Street 8:30 a.m. Memorial Service in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post on 34 Field Street 9 to 9:30 a.m. Three services will be held at Grove Cemetery at each of the memorials at the entrance to Grove Cemetery where the namesakes of the American Legion and VFW are memorialized.

9:30 to 10 a.m. parade participants will meet at the Renys parking lot for formation and at 10 a.m. “step off” and march down Main Street to the waterfront (near Nautilus restaurant) where the final memorial ceremony will be conducted.

3 p.m. National Moment of Silence to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

The historic Grove Cemetery Chapel will also be open to the public on Memorial Day. The Chapel has been restored to its original beauty, and is once again available to the public for services and is handicap accessible. The Chapel is located inside the main cemetery gates. Inside the Chapel you will find beautiful old wooden pews and cushions and other historic cemetery photos. Contact Steve Boguen, cemetery superintendent, for information, scheduling or a visit to the Chapel. He can be reached at 338-2264 or email sboguen@cityofbelfast.org.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in these remembrance events and show your support for our local veteran organizations and citizens who put so much effort into planning these events and the parade.

Public dance

Featuring the Juke Rockets Blues Band on Saturday, May 27, from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the VFW Post on 34 Field St. Admission is $5 and the funds go toward supporting our local veterans. Advance tickets are on sale now or you can pay at the door. Please call 338-2358 for more information.

 

Joy Asuncion is a retired 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy. She is an Honor Flight Maine board member, a Maine Troop Greeter and Maine State Ambassador for the Women in Military Service For America Memorial. You can reach Joy at joyasuncion@roadrunner.com or 930-5640.