Originally published in Castine Patriot, May 31, 2018
Castine observes heartfelt Memorial Day
by Anne Berleant
As the sound of somber bagpipes lingered in the air, veterans, Scouts, Castine Band members and observers marched through the streets of Castine in the town’s traditional Memorial Day parade and observance on May 28.
“The hill gets longer and I get slower. But it’s an honor and a privilege to be here,” Mike Coughlin said in his remarks at the top of Castine Cemetery.
Captain James Shanley, USN Ret., served as moderator, with prayers offered by the Revs. Tim Hall, Rick Armstrong and Margaret Beckman to remember the soldiers who did not return and why.
“We all came home and here we stand in awe of those who did not,” Armstrong said on the town common. “We are the privileged few able to live in freedom and justice.”
The weight and history of war threaded through the prayers and remarks at the cemetery, the town common and the town dock. In his remarks, Dr. Lynn Parsons spoke of the “scourge of war” as he described the creation of the 122 word Gettysburg Address, which was then recited by Nora Spratt.
Sergeant Mitchell Jamison, USMC, of the Maine Maritime Academy NROTC unit, laid a wreath in Castine Harbor in honor of those Navy men who died at sea.
“Some of our sailors didn’t return” while others “live with the terrors of combat,” the Rev. Margaret Beckman said in her prayer, asking all to “open our hearts to receive and share universal love, for we are one family.”