Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108 in Belfast will mark Veterans Day Wednesday, Nov. 11, with essay contest awards, a march — but not the usual parade — through Belfast, and the dedication of a POW/MIA Chair of Honor in Thorndike.

In Brooks, American Legion Post 183 will retire worn flags with a flag-burning ceremony at 10 a.m. at the Fire Station, weather permitting.

And in Stockton Springs, Jerry Dobbins Post 157 of the American Legion will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park on Main Street.

The public is welcome to attend the march in Belfast and the ceremonies in Brooks, Stockton Springs and Thorndike, while observing Maine CDC protocols for distancing and wearing masks.

VFW representatives will present scholarship awards to local Voice of Democracy (high school) and Patriot's Pen (middle school) essay contest winners in a 10:30 a.m. ceremony at Belfast Area High School. The high school winner will receive $500 in cash, and Troy Howard Middle School winners will receive $100 for first place, $75 for second, $50 for third and $25 for fourth. In total, the VFW will award approximately $2,000 in cash prizes in this year's competition.

At 11 a.m., Randall Collins VFW Post members will step off on their Veterans Day march from the high school, down Waldo Avenue to Main Street, and then to the waterfront. There they will have a short ceremony with a 21-gun salute and "Taps."

The VFW is asking for spectator support to recognize local veterans in the march.

At the request of Sheriff Jeff Trafton, a Thorndike selectman, the Belfast VFW color guard and other members will head for Thorndike for a 1 p.m. ceremony to dedicate the Chair of Honor, donated by Hussey Seating.

The North Berwick company has placed these chairs in numerous sporting arenas, VFW and American Legion posts, small town halls and other public places, as symbols that the 91,718 servicemen and women unaccounted for since World War I are not forgotten.

The black chair bears the POW/MIA logo, flanked by the American flag and the POW/MIA flag. It is accompanied by a plaque that explains its symbolism. The chair is never occupied; it waits, perpetually empty, for lost servicemen and women to come home.

According to the Architect of the Capitol website, Congress authorized the display of a Chair of Honor in 2016, and directed the Architect of the Capitol to obtain an appropriate chair featuring the POW/MIA symbol and place it in a permanent location in the U.S. Capitol. It recognizes the sacrifices of those who have never come home, along with all of those who serve and have served our country.

Melanie Cole of Thorndike, who has spearheaded the effort to place a chair in the Thorndike Town Hall, said the local ceremony will be brief, and she is hoping local veterans will turn out for it. The color guard will present the colors and she will say a few words, followed by a 21-gun salute and "Taps."