Participants and students bow their heads in prayer while recalling the sacrifices made by Arundel military members durng a Memorial Day Remembrance held at the Arundel Fire station on Sunday. ED PIERCE/Journal Tribune

ARUNDEL  — Across America, many choose to use Memorial Day Weekend as a way to connect with family and neighbors and that’s exactly how participants felt attending Sunday’s Memorial Day Remembrance in Arundel.

Held at the Arundel Fire Station on Limerick Road, Arundel families and neighbors gathered to pay tribute to the sacrifices and lives of military members of their community through the years. One by one, a list of 254 Arundel residents who served in the French and Indian War, Revolutionary War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Gulf War, Iraq War and Afghanistan was read before a crowd of their descendants gathered for the occasion.

Velma Hayes of the Arundel Historical Society welcomed those who attended the event and thanked veterans from Arundel for their contributions in preserving freedom for all Americans.

“They sacrificed their time and some gave their life,” Hayes said. “You stood strong for our country. We are with you and together we shall stand.”

Arundel resident Roma Pelletier joined Arundel veteran Shawn Hayes in laying a commemorative wreath at the Veterans Memorial in front of the fire station.

“Let us express our love and thanks for the sacrifices you made,” Pelletier said. “As I lay this wreath today, let us honor the American fighting man.”

Guest speaker Dana Peck, a descendent of the Taylor and Curtis families of Arundel, told the crowd that much of the community remains the same as it did generations ago when his ancestors served their nation in the military.

“The Taylor family fought in the Civil War,” Peck said. “Many of my grandfathers fought in the Revolutionary War and right up until the modern time. If you dig deep, you’ll find you probably have roots here too. And because we have such strong roots, we never forget where we came from.”

Peck said this will be his first Memorial Day he will be celebrating in 50 years with his brother David, who returned to Maine last year after working abroad for five decades.

He said Arundel is known for being a closely knit community and one that has always answered the call during times of war.

“You are from a community that cherishes our history,” Peck said.

A group of students in Ann Saunders’ sec0nd-grade class at M.L. Day School in Arundel entertained at the remembrance by performing four patriotic songs including “America the Beautiful” by Katherine Lee Bates, “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Guthrie, “You’re A Grand Old Flag” by George M. Cohan, and “I’m An American” by Rick Charette.

Rev. Bruce Bryant gave the invocation and benediction at the remembrance.

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

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: