Memorial Day rituals important

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Letter to the Editor;
Today I had the honor of participating in Dover-Foxcroft’s Memorial Day Parade. It is a celebration of our community and the connections between all of us who live here in our wonderful small town. I marched with fellow select board member, Jane Conroy, and our town manager, Jack Clukey. We were instructed to follow the Daisy and Brownie Scouts, and we would be followed by the motorcycle unit of veterans – mostly Vietnam War vintage vets. Fortunately, we had the benefit of a clear and strong “street-beat” from the Foxcroft Academy Band ahead of us. We followed the usual route from Dave’s World to Monument Square where dozens of citizens lined the way, and we came to a halt while the FA band played the national anthem, rounds were fired in memory of the fallen, and Representative Higgins offered a message about two local men who died in war – a fraternity brother in Vietnam and a young man from Atkinson in Afghanistan. After a moving rendition of taps, we moved on to the bridge where those who perished at sea were remembered as the FA Band played the Navy Hymn. We continued on to the court house waving at friendly faces along the way and admiring well-behaved dogs and fragrant lilacs. Whatever our political beliefs, whatever the values that divide us, this day is a day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, believing they were doing the right thing for all of us. Walking back to my car and reflecting on the importance of this day, I encountered a friend who is a veteran. He commented that he couldn’t hear what was shared on the bridge and then said, “It’s not important what was said; it’s the ritual that’s important.” It’s the ritual and the remembering that binds us together, from the Daisy Scouts to the Vietnam Vets and all of us who share this time together.
Cynthia Freeman Cyr

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