BANGOR, Maine — Those who have 18 minutes to spare on Veterans Day can revisit the parade that dedicated the Veterans Remembrance Bridge in 1986 when Cole Land Transportation Museum shows highlights of the parade at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, at the museum at 405 Perry Road.
Veterans Day was on a cold, snowy Tuesday that year when those who had served their country came from miles around to march or ride across the third bridge connecting Brewer and Bangor. More than 80 units included U.S. Army and high school bands, current servicemen and women and two generals — retired Lt. Gen. Walter F. Ulmer Jr., the parade marshal; and Gen. Wallace Nutting.
Just as special, if not more so, was the participation of a small group of World War I veterans, including three of the state’s oldest — Paul Thibodeau, 92, of Bangor; Max Poulsen, 93, of Orono; and Alexander Civinino, 94, of Millinocket.
All told, an estimated 3,000-plus veterans took part in the parade, which drew more than 10,000 spectators 41 years after the end of World War II.
Hundreds of veterans are expected to take part in this year’s parade, which begins at 10:15 a.m. Friday on Wilson Street in Brewer. Veterans will line up beginning at 9:30 a.m., with Cyr buses available for those who cannot walk the 1½-mile route, which follows the Chamberlain Bridge across the river, turning right down Main Street to the reviewing stand at Broad Street.
Veterans riding the buses can stay on them at the end of the parade on Exchange Street and be joined by veterans who marched to be brought back to the Brewer Shopping Center.
Many of the veterans will carry their Maine-made walking sticks, crafted at Peavey Manufacturing and distributed by Cole Land Transportation Museum in recent years to honor Maine veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the War on Global Terrorism.
Walking sticks are available 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, through Nov. 10, at the Cole museum to veterans with proof of Maine residence and military service, said museum founder Galen Cole. The museum has given out a total of more than 6,700 walking sticks, he said.
After the parade concludes, the Cole museum will hold its annual Veterans Day ceremonies at 1 p.m. with students reading their winning essays in the Veteran Interview Program and the Bangor Band offering a patriotic concert at 2 p.m.
The DVD of the 1986 Veterans Day parade will be shown at 3 p.m. at the museum. Copies of the DVD, including the 18-minute highlights and the 90-minute full parade, will be available for purchase for $8 at the museum.
The Cole museum will close for the winter at 5 p.m. Veterans Day, but those who cannot visit the museum that day may order the 1986 parade DVD by mailing $8 to Cole Museum, 405 Perry Road, Bangor 04401.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Gov. Paul LePage would serve as marshal for this parade. According to his office, this is not the case.