Area towns prepare for Memorial Day

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

RAYMOND — As the national holiday nears, many towns in the region have already lined their main streets with American flags in preparation for Memorial Day.

On Friday morning, community-minded residents will put some TLC into the gardens at the Raymond Veterans Memorial Park.

The volunteer work group will pull out the faded tulips. In their stead, red geraniums, white sweet alyssum and blue salvia will be planted around the memorial.

Volunteers are welcome to show up and help with the transplanting, according to Sharon Dobson, a member of the Hawthorne Garden Club that has adopted the gardens at the Memorial Park.

The group will start at 8 a.m. Friday. After the flower beds are revitalized at the Raymond Veterans Memorial, the next task will be the Pink Tulip Project. That garden is just up the street from the memorial.

Garden volunteers will be removing the tulips and planting pink geraniums. The Pink Tulip Project is associated with the Maine Cancer Foundation (MCF). People plant tulips for loved ones who have died from cancer. The purchase of the tulip bulbs raises money for “cancer research, patient education and support programs,” according to the MCF website.

“We always plant pink geraniums in there when the tulips go by,” Dobson said.

Both gardens at the Veterans Memorial and the Pink Tulip Project are located between Route 121 and Route 85 on Roosevelt Trail in Raymond.

On Monday, the Raymond Veterans Memorial will be the site for Memorial Day services at 1 p.m.

In the neighboring community of Casco, the American Legion Post 155 will lead the Memorial Day observances, which start at 9 a.m. on Monday. The services will be held at the Veterans Monument in Casco Village. This year, Bill Stuart, the future Legion Commander, will conduct the ceremonies.

Immediately after the services in Casco, the Legion members will travel to Naples for a ceremony and the Memorial Day parade. The services in Naples will be held at the Village Green (next to the Naples Town Office parking lot.) In Naples, the observances begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday.

The parade route goes along Roosevelt Trail to the Naples Town Dock on the Causeway. Traditionally, Maine Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops participate in the parade. The final part of the observance is when the Memorial Day wreaths are placed in the water of Long Lake. Particpants are invited to the American Legion for coffee, donuts and socializing afterwards.

Members of the Lake Region High School Band will perform at both Memorial Day services. A bus will transport them to Casco and then from there to the Naples Village Green. So, those students will get to play music and socialize with their peers at two community ceremonies before going on to family-centered activities on Memorial Day.

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