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MEMORIAL DAY PARADE IN PITTSFIELD
By Michael D. Wyly
Continued from Home Page.
Monday, May 29th, a week from today, at 10 AM , to the drum beat and music of the Warsaw School Marching Band, a U.S. Marine Color Guard, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Pittsfield’s American Legion and their Women’s Auxilliary, the Elks Club, and others, will step off in Pittsfield’s Annual Memorial Day Parade. Maine Central Institute’s band will be assembled and making music in the front yard of the Public Library. Pittsfield’s finest, our Town Police, will lead the Parade with a squad car and one of our fire engines will bring up the rear. All this to remind us of the sacrifices of those who gave their lives in combat for our Country, and to ensure we never forget, not only the service men and women themselves, but the grieving survivors – their families and loved ones. Pittsfield’s Veterans Honor Roll Memorial in Veterans Park.
The tradition began shortly after the American Civil War when it became customary to decorate the graves of Union soldiers killed in the Civil War on a designated day each May, when flowers came into bloom, named “Decoration Day.” The celebration evolved to remember all military veterans who gave their lives in combat in all our wars, and in 1966 the 89th Congress and President Lyndon Johnson established the last Monday in May as a National Holiday, “Memorial Day.”
The first event of the day will begin next Monday at 8:30 AM at the Waverly Street Bridge where Pittsfield’s Knowles W. Burton, Post 32 will place a wreath and give prayers for Marine Lance Corporal Knowles W. Burton, for whom the Post as well as the bridge, itself, is named. All from Pittsfield who died in combat will be recognized as well. Lance Corporal Burton gave his life in Vietnam in 1967.
Soon after the parade steps off at 10 AM, another brief ceremony will be held at the Sebasticook River bridge just South of Insource Renewables (203 North Main Street) and the intersection of Detroit Street and Main. The Parade will then proceed Southward along Main Street, crossing the intersection with Somerset Avenue and proceeding to Pittsfield’s War Memorial just North of the railroad track. There another wreath will be laid with appropriate ceremony. The next stop is in front of the Library where the Maine Central Institute Band will precede and follow prayers by the Parade Chaplain.
Past the Library the Parade will continue South on Main past Maine Central Institute and turn left onto Peltoma Avenue Eastward to terminate at the Village Cemetery with a final wreath-laying and ceremony.
All townspeople are encouraged to line the streets along the parade route and enjoy the pageantry and show our support for those who gave so much for all of us.
Following the parade, participants as well as public spectators are invited for hot dogs at the Elks club Lodge two blocks West of Main Street and immediately South of the railroad track.
With a full week ahead of us before the Parade it is not too late to add other organizations to the column of marchers. Groups so desiring can contact me by calling 207-341-0675 and I will see to it that your group is given due consideration.