Memorial Day Weekend — which signals the start of the summer season in Maine — centers on a federal holiday, set aside for paying tribute to the military personnel who have died while serving our country in the U.S. armed forces. Originally observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970, it is now observed on the last Monday of May — which this year happens to fall on May 30.

Memorial Day observances this year appear to be returning to a full-on pre-pandemic “normal”  in Waldo County. In Belfast and other towns, preparations begin in advance of the annual tribute to our fallen with the placement of flags on veterans’ graves in local cemeteries.

On Sunday morning, May 29, at 9 o’clock, Faith Temple Church on Route 52 (189 Lincolnville Ave.) in Belfast will conduct a special service that will include tributes to the fallen, those missing in action, veterans and active military.

A series of Memorial Day ceremonies will be held around Belfast on Monday, May 30, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the POW/MIA monument at the corner of Route 1 and Footbridge Road; then at 9 a.m. at Frank D. Hazeltine American Legion Post 43, 143 Church St.; at 9:30 a.m. at VFW Post 3018, 34 Field St.; and at 10 a.m. at the veterans’ monuments in Grove Cemetery.

The city’s Memorial Day Parade will line up at 10:30 a.m. in the Reny’s Plaza parking lot, to step off at 11 a.m. and march down Main Street to the Waterfront for a final ceremony.

Following the parade, the Randall Collins VFW post will host a noon luncheon for veterans.

Other Memorial Day parades and ceremonies will take place throughout Waldo County. Here is a schedule

Unity

Parade participants will assemble at 8:30 a.m. at the Unity Town Office for the annual parade organized by members of American Legion Benjamin Berry Post 50 and its Auxiliary. The parade will begin at 9 a.m., marching to Pond Cemetery and back. Anyone interested in participating should just show up. For questions, call Randal Parker at 323-3412.

Searsmont

The annual parade in Searsmont will step off at 9 a.m. from the Community Building and march to the post office. Following the parade there will be a pig roast and chicken barbecue for townspeople and participants.

This little guy really enjoyed throwing candy to all the spectators at the 2019 Monroe Memorial Day parade. File Photo

Searsport

Members of Jerry W. Dobbins American Legion Post 157 of Sandy Point will conduct a ceremony at 9 a.m. the Veterans Monument on East Main Street (Route 1)in Searsport, next to the United Methodist Church and across the street from Penobscot Marine Museum.

Stockton Springs

Following their Searsport ceremony, Legionnaires from the Jerry W. Dobbins post will observe Memorial Day around 10 a.m. at Veterans Park in the Town Square in Stockton Springs. Afterward they will cast a wreath into the water with a brief ceremony at the Mill Pond bridge.

Brooks

Members of American Legion Post 183 of Brooks will conduct four ceremonies in town on Memorial Day, beginning at 9 a.m. with a brief service and the laying of flowers at the monument beside the Varney Building. Participants will then move to the bridge in the center of town, where flowers will cast into the Marsh River, then to the monument in front of the Fire Department for a third ceremony, and finally to  the memorial to the rear of the Town Office where flowers will be placed.

Jackson

Legionnaires from Brooks Post 183 will travel to Jackson for a Memorial Day ceremony with prayer and music at 9:45 a.m. at the Jackson Veterans Memorial in the Town Office Complex on Route 7. Roadside flags have been hung from utility poles along Route 7 in Jackson in observance of Memorial Day.

Liberty

In Liberty, the annual parade will line up at Walker School at 10:30 a.m. and step off at 11 a.m. The parade will travel down Main Street to Liberty Baptist Church for an outdoor memorial service with the national anthem, a message and prayer from Pastor Ian Jewett, and the playing of “Taps.” Prizes will be awarded for best floats: 1st $150, 2nd $75 and 3rd $50.

Monroe

The Monroe Lions Club has organized the town’s Memorial Day observance, which will begin at 11 a.m. with the annual parade. The Mount View High School Band and Mount View Middle School Advanced Band will be playing in the parade. Participants, including veterans from Brooks American Legion Post 183, will line up and step off from Monroe Elementary School, marching along Main Street to Gesner Park.

Afterward there will be a chicken barbecue at the park, along with carnival games and prizes for children, French fries, hot dogs and soda, pies made by the Monroe Community Church, Stone Fox Farm ice cream, and a table with literature about park projects.

Prospect

Prospect’s Memorial Day parade will start at noon from Ray Webb’s barn on Route 1A. The American Legionnaires of Jerry Dobbins Post 174 of Sandy Point will lead the parade, followed by Grand Marshal Barbara Tilley, widow of Navy veteran Paul Tilley, in a convertible driven by veteran Chuck Boynton. Following them will be the Bucksport Middle School Band, kids on bikes, politicians, old cars, Anah Shriners mini-cars, and fire trucks and emergency vehicles from the area.

The parade will stop briefly at the Prospect Maple Grove Cemetery for Legion tribute to the fallen, and Amanda Hamilton will raise the flag. At the Veterans Monument, emcee Max Provencher will introduce Sabrina Rines singing the national anthem accompanied by the Bucksport Middle School Band.

Pastor John Tabor of Stockton Springs Community Church will offer a pray, followed by remarks from former selectman and veteran William Sneed. Commander Horace Seekins Jr. will lead Legionnaires in a memorial ceremony. Barbara Tilley will lay a wreath, made by Rosemarie Webster, at the monument, assisted by Commander Horace Seekins, and the band will play “Taps.”

All veterans are invited to march in the parade and join the Legionnaires in the Community Club Dining Room for refreshments.

Prospect’s historic Marsh School Museum will be open to visitors between 11 a.m.  and 1 p.m. for the occasion.

Lincolnville

Lincolnville’s Memorial Day Parade Committee has organized the annual parade, along with members of American Legion War Memorial Post 30 of Camden. The annual parade will step off at 1:30 p.m. from Lincolnville Central School and travel to Veterans Park for a ceremony to include prayer, a speaker, a wreath-laying, a gun volley and “Taps.” Then the group will continue to Frohock Bridge for a similar ceremony and the casting of a wreath into the water.

filed under: