A service of remembrance Sunday, May 27, at Faith Temple Church marked the start of formal observances of Memorial Day 2018, honoring all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, giving their lives in service to our country.

About 80 people participated in the annual service, including a color guard from Belfast Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108 and local veterans who have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

At the front of the sanctuary were the traditional POW/MIA table, representing some 82,000 service men and women still held as prisoners of war or missing in action, together with a new memorial tribute to Gold Star families who have lost a son or daughter in service to our country.

Joy Asuncion, retired from 20 years in the U.S. Navy, who led the service, introduced Fran Yaeger of Belfast. Inspired by a dream, Yaeger created the Gold Star memorial. It consists of a white pillar, representing "the high calling God had for their lives," Yaeger explained.

The candle, she said, represents the continual "light that shines in their honor," while the bugle is one "they could not hear played in their honor," and the "yellow roses represent the Gold Star families they left behind."

VFW member Steven Brown, who loaned his bugle to the Gold Star memorial at the start of the service, retrieved it to blow "Taps" at its end. Piper Al Baker of Brewer piped the color guard in and out.

Other observances are planned around Waldo County for Memorial Day tomorrow, May 28. They include:

Belfast

8 a.m. – Service in front of Frank D. Hazeltine American Legion Post 43 memorial, 143 Church St., Belfast.

8:30 a.m. – Service in front of Randall Collins Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108 memorial, 34 Field St., Belfast.

9 a.m. Service in Pine Grove Cemetery (three memorials).

9:40 a.m. Line up in Renys parking lot for parade.

9:55 a.m. Parade blessing.

10 a.m. Parade begins, ending at waterfront with final memorial service on the boat landing with a statement of proclamation, prayer by Faith Temple Church Pastor Michael Horton, honoring the VFW and Legion commanders, a wreath-laying ceremony, 21-gun salute and the playing of "Taps."

Brooks

Memorial Day begins with a free breakfast for all veterans at the Varney Building from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. At 9 a.m., American Legion Grant-Staples Post 183 begins the first of four ceremonies honoring service men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, placing a flower at the memorial stone in front of the First Congregational Church and playing "Taps." The group then will place a flower in the river, honoring Navy dead, followed by similar ceremonies at the Fire Department and behind Town Hall; the Legionnaires next depart for Jackson.

Jackson

The American Legion's Memorial Day ceremonies continue at about 9:30 a.m. at the Jackson Veterans Memorial in front of the Town Office. Coffee and baked goods will be served in the adjacent library, where military artifacts and memorabilia will be on display. The Legionnaires then move on to Monroe.

Monroe

Monroe Lions Club will hold its annual Memorial Day parade at 11 a.m. from the Monroe School to Gesner Park on Route 139. American Legion Post 183 of Brooks will participate, placing flowers in the river along the parade route.

Festivities to follow in the park include a chicken barbecue with homemade French fries, homemade pies and ice cream. There will be children's games and more. Tables for crafts can be rented. This event is held rain or shine. For more info, call Mario at 525-4445 or David at 525-4431.

Searsport

The Memorial Day parade, organized by American Legion Jerry W. Dobbins Post 157, will start at 9 a.m. Monday at the Public Safety Building and will go down Water Street to Mosman Park. Parade participants will form up at the Fire Station by 8:30 a.m. At Mosman Park there will be remarks, a prayer, a wreath-laying by Boy Scouts and the playing of "Taps."

Stockton Springs

The Memorial Day parade will start at Just Barb's and go downtown, beginning at 10 a.m. This parade is organized by American Legion Jerry W. Dobbins Post 157. The observance includes placing a wreath in the stream on Cape Jellison. If anyone is interested in participating in the parade, please email jayswhitesr@gmail.com.

Prospect

The Memorial Day parade will be held at noon. Following the parade at the Veterans Memorial will be remarks by Rep. Karl Ward, R-Dedham; a presentation of the memorial wreath; and a prayer lead by the Rev. Helen Shaw. There will be a barbecue at the Fire House; donations are welcome. To participate in the parade, contact Linda Gamble, 567-3615.

Searsmont

The annual Memorial Day parade begins at 9 a.m. from the Community Building to the post office. Roads along the parade route — Route 131 (Main Street), Woodman’s Mill Rood, New England Road, Moody Mountain Road, and Muzzy Ridge Road — will be closed at their intersections with Main Street at 8:30 a.m. Drivers are asked to use alternate routes.

Unity

Benjamin Berry Post 50 American Legion and Auxiliary of Unity will hold a Memorial Day parade at 9 a.m. The parade will start at the Town Office on School Street and proceed to Pond Cemetery and back to the Town Office. All are welcome to attend.

Winterport

A Memorial Day service will be held at the Frankfort Congregational Church at 8 a.m. The Memorial Day parade will start at Leroy Smith School at 11 a.m., make a stop at the Winterport Memorial Library and continue to Oak Hill Cemetery where Sen. Michael Thibodeau, R-Waldo, will speak. The Boy Scouts will help with the color guard. Others in the parade are the Hampden Academy band, Girl Scouts and Little Leaguers.