Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 29, 2014
Parade, ceremony honor veterans in Brooklin
Members of the Girl Scout Troop 625 marching band play the national anthem during the Brooklin, Maine Memorial Day observance on May 26, 2014.
by Rich Hewitt
A few raindrops lingered Monday morning as a small cadre of Girl Scouts from Brooklin Troop 625 paraded from the school to the town office for the annual Memorial Day ceremonies.
The troop’s marching band played several times, including a rendition of the national anthem at the town’s Veterans’ Memorial, as well as at the stone memorial marker at the Baptist Church. Scouts also placed a wreath at each of the memorials.
Scott Cleveland spoke at both locations, recalling one of the earlier memorial parades which occurred at the end of the Civil War when a group of freed African American slaves disinterred the bodies of Union soldiers who had died in a Confederate prison and then reburied them properly. It took two weeks to complete the task and, when they were done, they celebrated with a 10,000-strong parade.
There have been other Memorial Days, he said, reminding the small crowd of townspeople that “memorial” implies remembering.
“This is a day to remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.
Cleveland reminded the crowd of the unofficial motto of the U.S. Coast Guard: “You have to go out, but you don’t have to return.”
That motto, he said, “brings Memorial Day home to us” and calls us to remember those who did not return.
“This is a day when you can thank those veterans who are still with us, and they should be thanked,” he said. “But Memorial Day is a day to remember those who can no longer be thanked.”