Memorial Day is a busy day for the American Legion Post in the Kennebunks.
They go to five cemeteries and participate in three parades, but this year, they were worried they wouldn’t have enough people to do any of that.
“For one day a year, it’s kind of good to remember what you’re all about,” American Legion Post 74 Commander Dennis LaMontagne said.
For more than four decades, Vietnam veteran LaMontagne has paid respects to his fallen brothers in arms on Memorial Day.
Now, as post commander, it’s his responsibility to find veterans and servicemen to march in the parades.
“We have people that pass away, people that have health issues,” LaMontagne said.
With fewer and fewer members, he turned to social media, asking veterans and servicemen to help out.
“My daughter-in-law put it on,” LaMontagne said. “I was getting phone calls last night, and then Wayne called me this morning.”
Wayne Leach, a Vietnam veteran and a member of the Kennebunkport American Legion, said “We’ve lost a lot of members down there and up here, too, just because of their age. You know, I mean, we all go away sooner or later.”
He now spends most of his time with the Patriot Riders, but he agreed to march in Monday’s parades, after reading LaMontagne’s post.
“I’d hate to see it just fade away to nothing,” Leach said.
Some active servicemen from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard also read the social media post, and told the American Legion they’d be happy to help out.
“I’ve picked up a bunch of people, you know, to make it respectable,” LaMontagne said. “I mean, that’s what it’s all about.”
The commander said they needed at least 11 people to participate on Memorial Day. They now have 12, but he said they could use more.