Anthony Cincotta has been marching in parades for decades, but this year’s march will be special.

On Monday, Memorial Day, the Berwick resident, who celebrated his 87th birthday Tuesday, will march in his 50th Memorial Day parade.

For Cincotta, a retired command sergeant major in the U.S. Army’s Special Forces, the day marks a time to remember those men and women who died while serving their country. It could be one of the last times that three generations of a family that served in the military will be able to march together. Cincotta served in the Korean War and in Vietnam.

On Monday, three generations of military veterans – from left, Steven Cincotta, Anthony Cincotta and Michael Adams – will march in Berwick’s Memorial Day parade. Photo courtesy of Gina Cincotta

Cincotta’s son, Steven Cincotta, a 28-year Navy veteran and retired submarine commander, and Anthony Cincotta’s grandson, 26-year-old Michael Adams, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, will march alongside him. It won’t be the veterans’ first time marching together in a Memorial Day parade – though several years have passed since they did – but it will be pretty extraordinary considering how many times a man approaching the age of 90 has been able to do it.

“You can look at all the special days in your life, but this one … I’ll always remember. He has beaten all the odds when you think about what he did in the military and his age,” said Steven, 53. “It’s an impressive testament to the town, the state and to those who served their country.”

“He has been doing this for 50 years. It’s a legacy of a very patriotic family,” added Cincotta, who flew to Maine from his home in Hawaii to join his father.

“I’m quite pleased that we are all going to be together because this sort of thing doesn’t happen all that often,” Anthony Cincotta said.

A lifelong resident of Berwick, Cincotta, known as Tony, missed last year’s Memorial Day parade due to restrictions placed on the community by the COVID-19 pandemic. While he does not expect there to be a big crowd for this year’s march, he is hopeful that at least a few people will show up to honor those veterans who sacrificed their lives for their country. Cincotta will read the roll call of  the names of veterans who never returned home.

“I’ve been doing this for 50 years. Memorial Day is not Halloween, and it’s certainly not the Fourth of July. It’s a day of remembrance,” Cincotta said.

Cincotta joined the U.S. Army in 1952, retiring in 1974 as a command sergeant major. He did two tours of duty during the late 1960s and early ’70s in Vietnam.

“The whole region was a combat zone,” he said of his time in Vietnam. “We all got shot at, but luckily I never got hit.”

In 2013, Adams, of Westbrook, did a nine-month tour with the Maine Army National Guard in Afghanistan. During his tour, the then 19-year-old was one of the youngest members of his battalion. He served as a member on a convoy security team that escorted personnel and equipment throughout eastern Afghanistan.

Anthony Cincotta Photo courtesy of Steve Cincotta

Adams said he greatly admires his grandfather, who was named Berwick’s citizen of the year in 2013, primarily for the work he does on behalf of other veterans. Adams calls his grandfather every day after he leaves his job as an attorney for a Portland law firm, just to check in.

“He amazes me with everything that he has accomplished in his life,” Adams said.

Steven Cincotta persuaded his father to be interviewed by Berwick Community TV after Monday’s parade. Marching in 50 parades is an accomplishment that should be recognized, he said.

“My father is a local legend in the little town of Berwick,” Steven said. “He has been a stalwart of Berwick.”

Berwick’s Memorial Day parade is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at Berwick Town Hall. It was organized by members of the Charles S. Hatch American Legion Post No. 79 and auxiliary. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Noble High School and Middle School bands will not perform.

In the event of rain, the memorial service will be held in the Berwick Town Hall auditorium.

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