American Legion announces Memorial Day schedule for Camden, Rockport, Lincolnville

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Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day; it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Maj. Gen. John A. Logan declared it should be May 30. It is believed the date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom all over the country. The first large observance was held that year at Arlington National Cemetery, with ceremonies centered around the mourning draped veranda of the Arlington mansion, once the home of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Various Washington officials, including Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, presided over the ceremonies. After speeches, children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the GAR made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns.

Veterans Affairs Public Affairs Office shows there have been a total of 651,031 battle deaths in all wars from the American Revolution to Desert Shield/Desert Storm, according to Jeff Sukeforth, Legion Post 30 Adjutant, in a news release.

Sukeforth said there are close to 600 of those men and women laying at eternal rest in either Mountain View or Oak Hill Cemeteries. The goal of the Legion is to ensure that every grave the Legion is aware of has a U.S. Flag.

Why is this important? Because on May 30 Memorial Day, Post 30 will honor these men and women with ceremonies and parade events in Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville.

Sukeforth wants everyone to be aware that if you wish to attend any of the ceremonies to plan accordingly to be present for the ceremony.

Sukeforth wanted to remind everyone that due to the solemnity of the day no political activities of any kind will be allowed in the parade. If anyone has questions about the parade they may call Jeff at 236-3310.

Should it rain, Sukeforth said the parade would be cancelled, however, Legion members will still go to the identified memorials and locations on the schedule to lay wreaths and offer prayers.

Memorial Day stops are as follows and all times are approximate:

Memorial Day Schedule – MAY 29, 2023

Camden ceremonies - Staging area for Camden Parade is Union Street
9:00am Public Landing/Harbor; Prayer, Speech, Wreath laying, National Anthem sung by Robin Tarentino, Rifle Volley, TAPS
9:30am Parade steps off
9:35am Conway Boulder; Wreath laying, TAPS
9:40am Village Green War Memorial; Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.
9:50am Civil War and Spanish American War Memorial; Wreath laying, TAPS.
10:00am Mountain View Cemetery; Form at flagpole, Prayer, Speech, Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.

Rockport ceremonies – Staging area begins in front of Post Office and moves back toward Graffam Seafood Market
11:00am Parade steps off
11:05am Rockport War Memorial; Prayer, Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.
11:15am Rockport bridge; Prayer, Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.
11:30am Amesbury Cemetery; Prayer, Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.

Lincolnville ceremonies – Staging area is Lincolnville Central School
1:30pm Parade steps off
1:40pm Veterans Park; Prayer, Speech, Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.
2:10pm Lincolnville Beach/Frohock Bridge; Prayer, Wreath laying, Rifle Volley, TAPS.

Event Date: 

Mon, 05/29/2023 - 9:00am to 2:00pm