Sunday, June 1, 2014

Memorial Day brings out record crowds - By Michelle Libby

The rain stopped just in time for the Windham Memorial Day parade on Monday morning and held off until the events were over at 2 p.m. Local Veterans and service organizations gathered for the parade to honor those who have served their country in the military. The parade traveled from the Windham Town Hall to the memorial in front of Windham High School. Hundreds of people gathered to listen to speeches given by Colonel Bob Akins and Senator Michael Michaud. 
“Today is the day we set aside the time to remember our fallen,” said Akins. After a lesson in the number of men and women who have served and died for our freedoms Akins told the crowd that history is important, however, “Memorial Day is best lived forward.”

The parade and ceremony were attended by many Windham World War II Veterans. They were John Cooper, Thomas Joyce, Patrick Lawler, Ralph McDonald, Carol McDonald, Bob Meeley, Don Rogers, John Rollins, Leonard Sanborn, Fred Scott and Ira Lyman. Out of the 100,000 WWII Veterans from Maine, only 8,160 remain, according to Brig. Gen. Don McCormack, who acted as the master of ceremony and organized the parade, which he has done for many years. The ceremony ended with the destroying of old American flags and a 21-gun salute from the Third Maine Reenactment detachment.
Everyone in attendance was invited back to the Windham Veterans Center for a cookout and ice cream. 
Awards were presented to Donna Morton for being named the American Legion Post 148 Teacher of the Year and it was also announced that she was named the State Legion Teacher of the Year as well, which was a surprise for her. 

McCormack was also recognized for his many years of service to the post, especially being instrumental in bringing back the Memorial Day parade. 

“It was a great day, filled with wonderful memories,” said American Legion Post 148 commander Mel Greenier.

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