BATH, Maine — Hundreds of people showed up for the Memorial Day parade in Bath, which was resurrected by the community after the host canceled it weeks ago.
Crowds lined up along Centre Street to take in the sights and sounds.
“It’s local, it’s fun, it’s tradition,” Diana Apple, who brought her niece and nephew, said.
It’s meant to mark the unofficial start of summer but more importantly to honor the men and women who have served our country.
“I’m honoring my husband, who was in the Air Force and died last month,” Bath resident Theresa Day said.
Day said the parade was a tradition for her husband, Stuart, like so many others.
“Well, my father was in World War II and he always took us to the parades,” Tom Watson said.
Watson served in Vietnam. Now, he brings his grandkids to watch.
“I think it’s great for the young people to learn what it’s all about and what it was about,” he said.
Memorial Day nearly came and went without the tradition this year. It was canceled in early May after the American Legion Smith-Tobey Post 21 pleaded guilty to gambling and couldn’t afford to host.
“It was a bummer, because we thought we weren’t gonna go,” Apple said.
At the last minute, a mystery Mainer donated $5,000.
“Made it a lot more special,” Chris Gillespie, commander of Post 21, said. “To tell you the truth, I think I see more people out there seeing the parade than I have in the past years.”
The route ended with a wreath laying ceremony at City Park and a message from the legion.
“Thank you, Bath, Maine,” Edwin Morton, Sr., the legion’s parade director, said. “God bless you.”