MAINE, USA — Every year, Memorial Day is dedicated to honoring and remembering those who have served and sacrificed for our country. In 2020, long-time traditions looked much different than usual, if they even happened at all. That's why despite inclement weather Monday, some communities around Maine are still planning to host events.
The annual Gorham Memorial Day parade is happening this year, rain or shine. It will start at 11 a.m. from Village School and end at Eastern Cemetery on Johnson Road. Lincoln Street will be closed from 10 to 11 Monday morning for line-up, so if you need to access Village School for drop off or participation, you're asked to find a different route. Local VFW Post 10879 will be participating in the parade. Beforehand, the group will be meeting at Hillside Cemetery at 9 a.m. for a short ceremony. From there, the group will head to Little Falls for another ceremony. The former United States Chief of Space Operations Integration is expected to speak during the ceremony at Eastern Cemetery after the parade.
Old Orchard Beach
The Memorial Day parade at Old Orchard Beach is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The line-up happens at the entrance of the ballpark at noon, and the route follows Saco Avenue to Old Orchard Street. From there it turns right, and then turns right onto First Street, ending at Memorial Park.
The Wells Memorial Day parade was supposed to happen in 2021 to make up for a year lost during the pandemic, breaking an annual tradition that has happened since at least the early twentieth century. On Sunday night, organizers informed NEWS CENTER Maine that the parade has again been cancelled because of the weather. Organizers explained they didn't want veterans to have to deal with the rain.
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The town of Brunswick will not be hosting a Memorial Day parade this year, but there is an alternative activity. The Memorial Garden at the Brunswick Naval Aviation Museum will be open free of charge from 1 to 4 p.m. The museum itself will be closed.
The Bangor High School, JROTC will be putting on a small Memorial Day ceremony by the waterfront at 10 a.m. Sen. Susan Collins is expected to attend and deliver a keynote address. She will also participate in flag ceremony and wreath laying.
The Ellsworth VFW Post 109 is expected to host its Memorial Day parade starting at 10 a.m., going down Main Street to City Hall.
Cindy Hazelton is the director of parks and recreation for Gorham and helped to organize the town's parade after a decision was made in late March or early April to put one on. She says the goal of Monday's event is to honor our nation's veterans and help the community return to a place of normalcy after a challenging year.
"This is our first really kind of like community-wide celebration of that," Hazelton said. "The fact that we can do it, we can do it safely -- I hope it is the kick off. We all know that everybody wants to return to some routine of what we are are accustomed to. The weather's not going to be that great, but it's not going to prevent us from having a parade."
Because of the weather, it's best to either check online or call your city or town for any possible changes to events.