Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 30, 2019
Blue Hill observes Memorial Day with prayers and a parade
by Anne Berleant
The parade to honor fallen soldiers and sailors began with a bang in Blue Hill on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27.
The firing of the cannon at the American Legion Hall followed by the tolling of church bells, is the parade’s traditional start. As gun smoke filtered through the intermittent sunshine down Main Street, the color guard, veterans, the George Stevens Academy band, local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, sports teams and antique military jeeps and fire trucks slowly marched to the Mill Stream Bridge, where the Rev. Gary Brinn, minister for the First Congregational Church of Blue Hill, spoke a prayer for those who died at sea protecting their country.
“Courageous revolutionaries and faithful patriots, volunteers and those who were drafted…bodies recovered and some lost forever, some who returned but lost a part of themselves…hear our prayers for their souls and ours as we carry our grief and celebrate their lives.”
Following a three-volley salute by the color guard, Sergeant James Grindle gently tossed a wreath into the waters below to be carried out into Blue Hill Bay, as the GSA band played “Star Spangled Banner.”
The parade continued to Seaside Cemetery where Grindle placed a wreath at the foot of the Civil War memorial and the Rev. Brinn began the memorial prayer: “As we remember our honored dead, fill us with patience, with humility, remind us always of the terrible costs of war.”
As children waved small American flags and licked ice cream cones, the parade marched back down Main Street, the sun came out in full force and the Memorial Day observance came to a close.