JAY — It was a time of solemn remembrance Monday, at the Memorial Day Parade and accompanying ceremonies in Jay and Livermore Falls.

Keynote speaker Rep. Tina Riley, D-Jay, provided a brief history of Memorial Day. It was originally referred to as Decoration Day, and Riley said as a child she equated it with parade decorations.

“I am grateful to the elder who set me straight about the purpose of this day, which is given to those who gave their lives in order that our country would thrive undivided,” she said.

Riley referred to the words of Gen. John Logan, who in 1868 urged the nation to remember those lost in war and their role in preserving democracy. She said that by remembering veterans on Memorial Day, “we pay homage to those who gave all, and we also give tribute to the grief borne by those who served with them, now bereft.”

Riley also encouraged parents to teach their children the meaning of Memorial Day.

“As we remember and pay homage, we teach our children and our neighbors to do the same,” she said. “If other eyes grow dull, other hands slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain to us.”

The parade of veterans, ambulances, firetrucks, police and the Spruce Mountain High School marching band started their journey through Jay and Livermore Falls at Memco in Jay. The procession stopped at the Chisholm Monument in Jay, and Richardson Cemetery, the Grand Army of the Republic Monument and Union Park in Livermore Falls.

At each stop, a prayer was given, the band played the national anthem and other patriotic songs, and the honor guard fired a salute. At Union Park, Abigail Sterlene Riley, who was designated Miss Poppy in the parade, led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

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Rep. Tina Riley, D-Jay, speaks at the Chisholm Monument during Memorial Day ceremonies in Jay on Monday.

Area veterans’ organizations march in the Jay-Livermore Falls Memorial Day Parade on Monday.


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