By Barry Matulaitis, Staff Editor
JAY — Jay and Livermore Falls residents lined the streets Monday for the annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony.
“Our purpose here today is to commemorate the sacrifice of the men and women who have lost their lives in the service of our country,” said Rep. Tina Riley, D-Jay, the keynote speaker at the ceremony. “It is an honor for me to stand before you to speak to that sacrifice as we offer our most humble recognition of a debt that can never be repaid.”
Riley thanked the service men and women who put their lives on the line protecting American freedoms.
“You are the core of this ceremony, and, often the core of our community,” she said.
It is also important to recognize that more than 82,000 service men and women who have not yet been brought home, Riley said. She noted that more than 70 years ago, during World War II, the USS Indianapolis was struck and sunk by two Japanese torpedoes.
More than 300 of the crew survived, while nearly 900 perished. The ship was lost for decades until it was finally discovered last summer.
“As a nation, every lost son or daughter whom we can bring home brings us a sense of having finally completed a task which we feel honor-bound to see through,” she said.
“We will never give up the effort to find every single one of those who are today missing.”
The parade included the Spruce Mountain High School band, which played the national anthem and other patriotic songs, local veterans organizations and fire trucks from area fire departments.
The procession stopped for ceremonies at Chisholm Square in Jay; Richardson Cemetery in Livermore Falls; the Grand Army of the Republic Monument in Livermore Falls; the Fire, Police and EMS Monument in Livermore Falls; and Livermore Falls Union Park.