BIDDEFORD — Those who have worn the uniform of the United States of America merit recognition for the unique sacrifices they have made on behalf of our nation, and residents of Biddeford and Saco will be able to salute these deserving Americans at a special event on Veterans Day.

According to Delilah Poupore, Heart of Biddeford executive director, the public is invited to attend the annual Veterans Day Ceremony and Parade to honor those who have served or are currently serving our country on Saturday, Nov. 11.

“The day begins with an Opening Ceremony at 9:45 a.m. at Biddeford’s Veterans Memorial Park, on the corner of Alfred and Pool Street,” Poupore said. “The ceremony will feature guest speaker Col. Jen Fulmer, who retired from the U.S. Air Force in September 2015 after spending 24 years serving in a variety of leadership positions.”

Poupore said that Fulmer currently is the executive director of Boots2Roots, the only nonprofit organization in Maine specifically focused on connecting with soon-to-be veterans while they are still on active-duty to help them prepare early for a successful transition to Maine. 

At the conclusion of the ceremony, a parade will be held that runs from Alfred Street to Main Street in Biddeford and then continues to Main Street in Saco.  

The parade will be held rain or shine, Poupore said, but if weather conditions are forecast to be more severe, an indoor location for the ceremony will be announced by Heart of Biddeford on Friday, Nov. 10.

The master of ceremony for the parade will be be Marshall Archer of AMVETS Post #1 and the grand marshall of the parade will be Starr Bartlett, who served in a medical unit as a cook.

“She was the first woman in her unit to get a license to drive a 2 1/2 ton multi-purpose truck and is a member of the Rebecca Emery Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution,” Poupore said.
The parade’s chief of staff is U.S. Navy Retired Command Master Chief J. E. “Gene” Foster, with Steven Thurlow serving as the student reader and Ray Hallczuk as Chaplain.

“This year’s parade features the Vietnam Veterans of America, American Legion, and AMVETS as well as performances from the Thornton Academy and Biddeford High School bands, Saco and Biddeford middle school bands, and local scouting troops and dance troops, among others,” Poupore said.  

The Heart of Biddeford organization has collaborated with local veterans organizations since 2014 to host parades to honor those who serve or have served our country, as well as to build connections in the community of Biddeford and Saco.

“Our local veterans organizations appreciate the involvement of the whole community,” Poupore said. 
Once the parade is finished, Poupore said that the community is invited to AMVETS Post #1 at 147 Alfred St. in Biddeford for a luncheon following the parade.

— Executive Editor Ed Pierce can be reached at 282-1535 ext. 326 or by email at [email protected]

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