LEWISTON — Jerry Der Boghosian spent a lifetime advocating for veterans until his death last year at age 91.

Veterans from Lewiston and Auburn will memorialize that commitment on Saturday.

After a Memorial Day parade through the Twin Cities, veterans will unveil a stone bench in Der Boghosian’s honor, next to the granite monuments at Veterans Memorial Park along the Androscoggin River next to Longley Bridge.

“All of the organizations that belong to the L & A Veterans’ Council chipped in to pay for Jerry’s bench,” said Jerry De Witt, council chairman.

De Witt said the groups raised $2,800 to pay for the bench. Members of Der Boghosian’s family are expected to attend the ceremony, set to begin at 10:30 a.m.

Der Boghosian served in World War II aboard the USS Canberra, which was severely damaged by a Japanese torpedo. He founded the ship’s reunion association, which was one of dozens of veterans organizations to which he belonged.


“I’ve known Jerry for 35 years, at least,” De Witt said. “He was a good friend of mine. He is truly a mentor to me. I always referred to him as ‘Dad.’ He called me his son, even. He was just like another father. He was a nice man. I miss him terribly.”

At last year’s ceremony, former U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud presented Der Boghosian with a plaque from the L & A Veterans’ Council for his many years of advocacy work for local veterans.

Also on Saturday, the 27th granite monument with names of 216 local veterans, past and present, will be unveiled. That stone will be dedicated to the Seabees. De Witt expects several family members from out of state whose relatives’ names are carved in the new stone to attend the ceremony.

He added that his organization is already taking names for the 28th monument.

One of the highlights of the ceremony will be a flyover by a couple of planes from the Maine Civil Air Patrol in Augusta.

The annual Memorial Day parade will precede the ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park. Led by the Kora Shrine Highlanders, the parade will start at 9:30 a.m. from Kennedy Park in Lewiston, cross Longley Bridge into Auburn and Great Falls Plaza before crossing back over the bridge to Veterans Memorial Park.

“We’d love to see people along the parade route,” De Witt said. “There will be flags for everyone, as long as they last.” 

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