The graves of veterans have already been adorned with American flags and flowers in the communities of Gorham and Westbrook, and next week residents will take some time Monday to celebrate Memorial Day and pay tribute to those men and women who died while serving their country in the military.
VFW Post 10879 in Gorham will conduct a Memorial Day observance at 9 a.m. on Monday, May 27, at Hillside Cemetery on Huston Road, followed by a wreath-laying in the Presumpscot River on Route 202 in Little Falls.
Memorial observances in Gorham will continue at 11 a.m. with the annual parade, to begin at Village School on Lincoln Street and conclude at Eastern Cemetery on Johnson Road. The event will feature veterans, antique cars, floats, marching units, music and other participants. Lincoln Street will be closed from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. to set up for the parade.
Anyone who would like to participate should call the Recreation Department at 222-1630.
Memorial Day festivities in Westbrook will kick off at 8 a.m. with a remembrance ceremony in Woodlawn Cemetery on Stroudwater Street. The annual Memorial Day parade will kick off from the corner of Longfellow and Lewis streets at 10 a.m. and proceed along Main Street toward Riverbank Park, where there will be a ceremony following the parade. Lineup for the parade begins at 9:15 a.m.
This year’s parade will be led by Mary Dotty McGuirk, who, as a member of the United States Air Force Nurse Corps, cared for those wounded during the Vietnam War.
The parade will feature community groups, veterans and members of the military, including the 262nd Engineer Company of the 133rd Engineer Battalion of Maine National Guard, which will be deploying later this year.
McGuirk, a Westbrook native, graduated in 1950 from the Mercy Hospital School of Nursing. She worked in the operating room at Mercy and then at Togus, the veterans hospital in Augusta, before being commissioned in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps in 1954. She retired from the military in 1978.
McGuirk knows what it’s like to lose a loved one in the military; two husbands, both Air Force pilots, were killed in aircraft crashes.
Michael Kelley can be reached at 780-9106 or [email protected] or on Twitter @mkelleynews
The community is invited to Memorial Day parades in Gorham and Westbrook to honor those lost in service. Like last year (above), the parade in Gorham is expected to include veterans, as well as public safety officials and other members of the community.
Street closures due to the parade in Westbrook:
There will be no parking Monday morning on Main Street between Route 25 and Riverbank Park.
Longfellow Street will be closed between New Gorham Road and Jensen Lane from 9:15-10 a.m. to allow for the parade to line up. Parade participants can be dropped off on Longfellow Street by Jensen Lane.
Route 25 will be closed for about 10 minutes at 10 a.m. by New Gorham Road in both directions to allow the parade to cross over to Main Street.
Main Street will be closed from 9:50-10:30 a.m. between Route 25 and Captain Hartley Drive.