BANGOR — Even Pond Street School closed the day the armistice was signed on Nov. 11, 1918, the first edition of what is now Veterans Day.
She’s been gone for many years now, but the fifth-grader she was in 1918 came to life when Lucretia Turner welcomed me to her Wing Street home seven decades later in 1988.
“I can remember the bells ringing and horns tooting,” Turner recalled, surrounded by her scrapbooks.
Many of the schoolchildren walked downtown and watched the parade from in front of the Unitarian Church on the corner of Union and Main streets. Seeing thousands of participants celebrating the end of the war made an impression on the youngsters, Turner said.
“I think every family had someone in the war, and look how many men died in the flu epidemic in Camp Devens, as well,” she said.
The parades continued each year, including the time Turner was among more than a dozen Campfire Girls on a float, each girl proudly wearing a navy skirt, white sweater and red beret.
Turner also was in Bangor for the excitement when World War II ended in 1945, when she was in her 30s.
“You hugged and kissed everyone on the street,” she said. “You were older — you realized.”
Turner retained her love of history throughout her life, enjoying memberships in the Mayflower Society and Frances Dighton Williams Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
For many years she put together patriotic exhibits for DAR American History Month in the window of Smiley’s store on Main Street, where she worked.
And always, Lucretia Turner recalled fondly the downtown celebrations of when war came to an end.
This year, the Brewer High School Student Council, Key Club and Air Force Junior ROTC held their annual Veterans Day Assembly on Nov. 10 at the high school.
Local veterans were invited to attend and enjoy coffee, doughnuts and a free T-shirt.
Air Force Junior ROTC cadets performed the traditional POW-MIA ceremony, recognized Purple Heart veterans and conducted a Saber Arch to welcome veterans into the gymnasium.
Retired Chief Master Sgt. Steve Hughes leads the Junior ROTC at Brewer High.
Veterans Day activities will be held on Thursday, Nov. 11.
BANGOR-BREWER — Veterans Day Parade, 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11, marching units and bands, beginning at Wilson Street and Acme Road in Brewer, down Wilson Street, across Joshua Chamberlain Bridge, turning right down Main Street in Bangor to reviewing stand at West Market Square, then to Exchange Street to disband. National anthem, invocation and remarks by Gov. John Baldacci at reviewing stand. Parade route, 1½ miles. 992-5570.
BANGOR-BREWER — Veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, War on Global Terrorism and other eras marching in groups in Veterans Day Parade. Form beginning at 9 a.m. beside auto parts store, 373 Wilson St., Brewer, for 10:30 a.m. parade. Veterans also may ride Cyr buses along parade route. May park cars in Twin City parking lot in Brewer. Veterans who wish to ride the Cyr buses may leave their cars by 9:30 a.m. on Exchange Street in Bangor or in the parking garage and be brought to Brewer. Buses also will bring veterans from Exchange Street back to Brewer after parade ends.
BANGOR — Memorial service honoring all veterans, hosted by Maine Korean War Veterans Association, Burton-Goode-Sargent Chapter 1, noon Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11, Maine State Korean War Memorial, Mount Hope Cemetery, Mount Hope Avenue. All welcome.
BANGOR — Veterans Day program, 1 p.m. Nov. 11, Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road. Six students reading award-winning essays, “What Freedom Means to Me After Interviewing a Veteran.” Patriotic concert by Bangor Band, 2 p.m. Free.
BANGOR — Maine veterans of World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm and War on Global Terrorism who do not have walking stick may receive one 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 11, Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road. Bring military ID or DD214.
BREWER — Pancake breakfast sponsored by Bangor Rotary Club, 7-11 a.m. Veterans Day, Brewer Auditorium. Free breakfast for veterans, compliments of the Cole Museum and Bangor Rotary Breakfast Club. Veterans are asked to bring their walking sticks.
CASTINE — Maine Maritime Academy, Veterans Day Observance Ceremony, 11 a.m. Nov. 11, in front of Leavitt Hall on campus. Organized by MMA Student Government Association, supported by the Regiment of Midshipmen. Student speakers, the Maritones, MMA band, pipe and drum corps, drill team, 21-gun salute. Wreath-laying by Downeast Chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Association at base of Merchant Marine memorial honoring Merchant Mariners and members of the Naval Armed Guard from Maine who died in service to their country during World War II. All welcome.
HOLDEN — Wreath-laying ceremony, 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11, Holden Veterans Memorial, beside town office, 570 Main Road, Route 1A. Guest speaker, retired Navy Capt. James Settele.
ORONO — A special screening of award-winning documentary “The Way We Get By,” based on three Maine Troop Greeters, 7 p.m. Nov. 11, Collins Center for the Arts, University of Maine. Small admission fee.
ROCKPORT — Veterans Day breakfast and ceremony honoring veterans, 8-9:30 a.m. Nov. 11, Camden Hills Regional High School. Sponsored by Camden Hills Chapter, National Honor Society. Eggs, bacon, pancakes. Free.
WINTERPORT — Veterans Day ceremony, sponsored by Argonne Post 138, American Legion, 11 a.m. Nov. 11, Winterport Public Library, Main Street. Public lunch afterward, Victoria Grant Community Center, Abbott Park.