Parades, memorial ceremonies and other events have begun across the state to pay tribute to the men and women who have served the country’s military.

Veterans Day parades began at 10 a.m. in South Portland and Biddeford. Portland’s annual parade is set to begin at 10:30 a.m. in Longfellow Square and end with ceremonies at City Hall.

There will be more events throughout the day, including a ceremony at the University of New England’s Portland campus at noon.

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, whose father served in World War II, issued a written statement this morning thanking veterans.

“This day is dedicated to Americans who have answered freedom’s call throughout our nation’s history. Some who answered that call did not return home. Some did return but have since passed on. Some remain missing but will never be forgotten. We express our gratitude to them in our hearts,” she said.

“Some live in honor among us; nearly 24 million across America, with more than 136,000 right here in Maine. Whether they served in recent years or in generations past, we express our gratitude to them in our words and through our actions. We express our gratitude by ensuring that our veterans receive the support – the quality health care, and the educational and employment opportunities – they earned through their service. …

“This Veteran’s Day, let us remember those who have sacrificed so much to and honor their service through words and actions that proclaim our gratitude.”

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