Memorial Day events slated for southern Aroostook County

HOULTON, Maine — A number of communities will gather Monday, May 27, to remember those men and women who gave their lives while serving their country.

Memorial Day or Decoration Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s armed forces, according to For others, Memorial Day is a time to remember deceased loved ones by planting flowers at gravesites.

Memorial Day is often confused with Veterans Day. Memorial Day is typically a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving, whereas Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans.

The following services will be held in the area:

Houlton — The Chester L. Briggs Post 47 of the American Legion in Houlton will host several events in honor of Memorial Day. Starting at 9 a.m., veterans will gather at Soldiers’ Hill in the Evergreen Cemetery, located on Smyrna Street, with welcoming remarks, a flag raising, opening prayer, laying of wreaths and 21-gun salute with taps.

At 10 a.m., participants will gather at the TD Bank parking lot on North Street, before marching to the bridge, where a wreath ceremony will be held to honor all servicemen and women lost at sea.

The parade then will continue to Monument Park, located on Broadway, for a service at 11 a.m. This year’s service will include musical selections from the Houlton High School band and chorus groups.

Rod Collins, District 16 commander of the American Legion, will be the featured speaker during the ceremony.

Patten — The parade begins at 10 a.m. starting on Mill Street/Station Street, going up Station Street, west onto Houlton Street, north on Main Street to the cemetery located on the North Road. A service will be held at the cemetery.

Oakfield — Richard Burton of the American Legion Post No. 52 said no plans have been finalized for the town’s traditional Memorial Day events. In year’s past, officials gathered for a brief service and 21-gun salute at the town cemetery before lining up for the Oakfield Memorial Day Parade. The parade traditionally began at 10 a.m., on Station Street and featured a wreath toss along the bridge on the Ridge Road. The parade then typically continued along Ridge Road and River Road, before ending at the Veterans War Memorial at Four Corners (near Bethel Pentecostal Church) for an 11 a.m. ceremony.

Burton said the Legion will meet on Thursday, May 23, to see if enough volunteers will help with the activities. If not, the town will not hold an event this year.

Island Falls — The VFW will hold its annual memorial service at 1 p.m. on Monday, May 27, at the Island Falls cemetery.

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