LIVERMORE FALLS — The Memorial Day Committee met on April 2nd at 6 p.m. at American Legion Post 10 to start planning the Memorial Day parade.

The Legion has placed its order for 16 gross of grave flags to be used locally this year. Also, it has ordered 30 grave flag holders to go with the ones the Legion has on hand for this year.

According to Donald Simoneau, the Legion has not set the theme for this year’s parade yet but it is looking to honor veterans as it has for generations. One group it would like to honor is what is called Gold Star Mothers and Families.

The State of Maine recognizes them with special license plates that can be seen on the roads daily. But because of privacy laws the Legion cannot be given the names or lists so knowing who they are to honor is very difficult, said Simoneau.

Gold Star Mothers is an organization of mothers who have lost a son or daughter in the service of our country. In Maine, people can have a Gold Star Families license plate if they meet certain requirements some which are listed below:

-Gold Star Lapel Buttons are/were presented exclusively to certain family members of those who served in the armed forces of the United States and who lost their lives during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam War and are on the official casualty list for that war period; or

-who lost their lives during any other period of armed hostilities prior to July 1, 1958; or who lost their lives after June 30, 1958;

-while engaged in action against an enemy of the United States (e.g. killed in action or died of wounds in combat theater); or

-while engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force; (e.g.. died of injury illness in combat theater); or

-while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed conflict in which the United States is not a belligerent party against an opposing armed force (e.g. military advisor to a foreign military).

-who lost their lives after March 28, 1973, as a result of the following:

-an international terrorist attack against the United States or foreign nation friendly to the United States, recognized as such by the Secretary of Defense; or

-military operations while serving outside the United States as part of a peacekeeping force.

The Legion invites its Gold Star Mothers or Gold Star Families to contact them via e-mail [email protected] or by mail to the Memorial Day Committee, The American Legion, 17 Reynolds Ave., Livermore Falls, ME 04254 as it looks for a way to honor them in the Memorial Day Parade in Jay and Livermore Falls this year.

One other item the Legion discussed was raising the $650 or so needed to purchase liability insurance to cover the parade this year.

“We must have liability insurance on the Parade so we are looking for donations to help offset that cost,” said Simoneau.

All money donated from the local towns for Memorial Day is used for veterans grave flags or flag holders. That money is not budgeted for insurance as it is used to Flag our Veterans Graves which locally the Legion flags from the Middle of May to the End of September as we have done since the Civil War.

The last item the committee discussed was needing help with the line-up before the parade and along the parade route. Simoneau said that for as long as he could remember, the Legion has had one gentleman do this for them year in and out.

“This year he cannot do it and has asked us to find someone else to do this very important part of the parade,” said Simoneau “All we can say is a huge thank-you is sent from the Memorial Day Committee to Andre Ouellette for your many years of service to make the Memorial Day Parade locally the best around. We salute you, sir!”

Simoneau reminds people in Jay and Livermore Falls that this is their Memorial Day Parade “and we need you, your group, your organization, and participation to make this the best parade around! So start planning to be part of the parade and help us plan the parade and the flagging of the more than 1,600 veterans’ graves locally for Memorial Day 2015.”

The Legion invites all veterans or citizens to its next meeting on April 16th at 6 p.m. at the American Legion Post 10, 17 Reynolds Ave., Livermore Falls, ME 04254. Donations for the parade insurance can also be sent to the above address with checks made out to Memorial Day Committee.

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