JAY — Before the Memorial Day Parade begins at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30, veterans and others will be out honoring those who died while serving in the U.S. military. Wreaths will be placed at memorials or thrown into the river and prayers said.
“We will take time to remember on Memorial Day the service given in times past for our freedoms today,” Memorial Day Committee Chairman Don Simoneau said.
Volunteers have already placed flags at 1,529 graves in 47 local cemeteries.
Brief services will be held at memorials beginning at 7 a.m. at the Livermore Falls Memorial Bridge over the Androscoggin River. From there the services are scheduled for 7:20 a.m. at Livermore Veterans Memorial, 7:45 a.m. at the Jay POW/MIA Bridge, 8:15 a.m. at Jay Hill Cemetery, and 8:45 a.m. at VFW Post 3335.
Following the parade and a Fallen Hero’s Salute at the Geneva Hodgkins Memorial Park in Livermore Falls, veterans will hold a service at about 12:15 p.m. at the Fayette Veterans Memorial.
This year’s theme of the parade is the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
Parade lineup is at 9 a.m. in the parking lot at Memco on Main Street in Jay.
Participants include former Vietnam prisoner of war Charles Crafts and his wife as marshals of the parade.
Among the stops at monuments along the route will be World War II Monument in Chisholm Square in Jay. Former state Sen. Peter Mills, a Vietnam veteran, will be the guest speaker. Mills, currently the executive director of the Maine Turnpike Authority, served five years on Navy destroyers with duty on the Vietnam gun line for which he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal, Simoneau said. Mills later earned a Navy Commendation for intelligence missions against the Soviets.
Both the Jay and Livermore Falls schools’ marching bands will perform at monuments.
The bands will not be passing each other along the route because of road construction issues, so Livermore Falls will do Chisholm Square, Richardson, and Grand Army of the Republican Monument. The Jay band will do the park in Livermore Falls this year, Simoneau said. It is expected that next year, the bands will reverse duties with the road construction scheduled to continue through October 2012.