Memorial Day Parade 2023

Tue, 05/23/2023 - 8:45am

Memorial Day, May 29, Monday, is fast approaching. Once again, the peninsula’s six parades are being organized by the Boothbay American Legion Post 36.

This year we are extremely fortunate to have as our co-grand marshals, local war veterans Paul Adams and Barclay Shepard.

Paul grew up in Boothbay, attended East Boothbay High School, graduated from Coburn Classical Institute in Waterville and attended Colby College in Waterville on a scholarship. He served on submarines in the Pacific during World War II. After the war, he settled in California, stayed in the reserves, graduated from University of California with a forestry degree and worked for Southern Pacific Railroad for 17 years. He and wife moved to Southport in 1983.

Barclay was a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy in 1946. A U.S. Navy surgeon, who oversaw the design of Naval hospitals, and a merchant marine officer. In 1967 he was posted to the hospital ship, U.S.S. Repose as a thoracic surgeon. In January 1968, the hospital ship was flooded with American casualties wounded in the bloody North Vietnamese TET offensive. Barkley worked as a top surgeon for the Veterans Administration where he spearheaded the huge investigation into the effects of Agent Orange on Vietnam veterans. He also quarterbacked the VA’s project to computerize and digitize health records.

As in the past, the parades kick off at Cape Newagen with the “march off” at 8:30 a.m. and the Memorial Day Commentary given by Pastor Greg Foster at the Southport Library. The next “march off” is at 9:15 at the Southport Memorial across from the Southport General Store, This is followed by the “march off” at 10:35 in the area of the Boothbay Harbor Town Hall with commentary by Reverend Todd Weir in front of the library flag pole The parade proceeds from there to Whale Park with Deacon Bob Curtis speaking and the tossing of the Wreath Spray into the harbor. Parade participants then proceed to Boothbay Common and a short parade starting at about 11:15 to the memorial with commentary by Al Roberts. The last parade commences in the area of the East Boothbay General Store with the “march off” at 1145 and the commentary at the memorial. Following the parade, the Legion Auxiliary will be providing lunch for parade participants and their families.

This year Legion members, and any others who would like to participate, will assemble at the memorial at the Edgecomb Town Hall at 2 p.m. Joel Morley will provide the remarks.

The Community Band will once again provide drummers to keep the marchers in step and the Band will be providing the moving music tribute and taps. The U.S. Marines from the Marine Reserve unit in Brunswick will be providing the firing detail with our sailors from DDG 120 Carl M. Levin providing the Color Guard. Also participating will be our area's Boys and Girl Scouts.

All veterans are invited to join the parade, with the veteran detachment once again being led by USMC Barry Sherman. Please join us in honoring our fallen brothers and sisters. You can join the parade at any of the locations or for the whole parade. For those unable to march, the Chamber trolley, once again, will be providing transport and participating in the parades. The trolley will depart the Legion Hall about 7:45 a.m. and proceed to Newagen. Leaving Southport, the trolley will stop at St. Andrews Village to pick up veterans who wish to be part of the Harbor parade.

There will be a breakfast for the Marine Firing Squad, the Color Guard, and their guests at the Legion Hall in the Industrial Park at 7:15.

The veterans will be marching rain or shine. The band and other participants will make their decision to participate independently.

Summary, times approximate:

8:15: Parade participants assemble at Newagen, march off promptly at 8:30.

9:15: West Southport - Parade “march off”

10:35: Boothbay Harbor – Parade “march off” and follow on to Whale Park

11:15: Boothbay Common – Parade “march off”

11:45: East Boothbay – Parade “march off”

All individuals and businesses are encouraged to fly their flags for the Memorial Day Weekend. Remember, the flags are to be at half-mast until noon on Monday.