PARIS — Interim Town Manager Sawin Millett of Waterford reminded those at Monday’s Memorial Day ceremony that men and women of the armed forces have written the history of America’s freedom.

“The men and women who founded our great nation came to this new world in search of freedom and opportunity, a chance to worship as they wished, work as they wanted, and live as they chose,” he said. “But great American patriots were willing to pay the price to secure the liberties that are the basis on which our country was founded.

“We remember and honor those patriots today. Throughout the 240-year history of the United States, our principles, our liberties, our challenges, and our way of life have been threatened. Yet no challenge has gone unanswered as generation after generation of heroes has responded to the call in the defense of our nation.”

Millett said the somber holiday was born out of human necessity.

“Deep inside all of us lies a fundamental desire to make sense of life and our place within the world,” Millett said. “What we’ve been given, what we will do with it, and what we will pass on to the next generation is all part of an unfolding history, a continuum that links one soul, and one generation to another.

“From Lexington and Concord, to Little Round Top and Flanders Field, to Iwo Jima, from Korea, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf, to the ideological and terrorist-driven violence that is occurring around the world today, the men and women of our armed forces have written the history of freedom. From generation to generation they add new and inspiring chapters of valor, devotion to duty and sacrifice.”


The ceremony was held in Moore Park where the Veterans Memorial provided a backdrop for speakers. The crowd was estimated at well over 200 residents.

Linda Young and Alberta Rowe, members of American Legion Post 72 Auxiliary, shared a Patriots umbrella in the parade staging area.

As cloudy skies threatened, multiple summer sports teams, such as the Paris Reds baseball team led by coach Jason Bilodeau, were there to march, and Alan Batchelor was there with the Paris girls’ softball team.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 130 attended, with a few Cub Scouts also participating. Music for the parade and the ceremony was provided by the Oxford Hills Middle School band, led by music director Blaise Spath.

American Legion Post 72 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9787 members attended to honor U.S. military members who died while serving their country. The overall planning was done by members of the town’s Veterans Memorial Committee.

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