A video featuring local veterans, musicians and others will premiere at 10 a.m. Monday May 25 on Facebook live and be offered for later viewing on Biddeford and Saco municipal and Heart of Biddeford webpages as the two cities remember those who fought and died in service to the country. Tammy Wells Photo

Organizers of annual Memorial Day observances in Biddeford and Saco have found an innovative way to honor those who have died in service to their country, even though restrictions related to the coronavirus has meant a cancelation of the parade.

A locally made video, featuring veterans, young people and a glimpse of past events will premiere on Facebook live at 10 a.m. Monday, May 25 at the Heart of Biddeford and City of Saco Facebook pages. It will be available for viewing later on both Biddeford and Saco municipal web pages and on: www.heartofbiddeford.org.

During the online event, viewers will see pre-recorded selections by local musicians, including Taps by Mrs. Biddeford, Jessica Johnson and her son Julian, addresses by mayors Alan Casavant and William Doyle, and more.

Guest speaker is Christian Basque, a veteran and a physician at Southern Maine Health Care. Basque returned to SMHC last fall after a 10-month deployment with the U.S. Navy in Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain.

His remarks will also reference the essential service of frontline workers in these times, said organizer Delilah Poupore of Heart of Biddeford.

“The online event will be poignant in that we’ll see young people from our communities playing patriotic music and taps, we’ll have the traditional experience of observing a member of Am Vets raising the flag, and we’ll see a montage of video clips that reminds us of past years,” said Poupore, who has worked with veterans organizations for many years, coordinating the annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades. And while a parade isn’t possible this year, she said, there was no question that Biddeford and Saco would continue their tradition of honoring those who fought and died for the United States.

“This year, we knew there would need to be social distancing restrictions, but we were just as committed to finding ways to honor veterans,” said Poupore. “Fortunately, the City of Saco stepped up with the willingness and talent to pre-record aspects of the ceremony, then host the event live. We hope the two communities will find the event as unifying and meaningful as our more traditional events have been in the past.”

Andrew Dickinson, of the Saco communications department, made the film.

“He has a unique ability to use video to tell a story and bring viewers together,” said Poupore. “I believe that will be evident as people tune in.”

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