BANGOR – Bangor Army veteran Homer Carr was thanked several times during the annual Veterans Day parade that began in Brewer and made its way through the heart of downtown Bangor.
He was one of many current and former military service members thanked along the parade route.
“It’s just overwhelming how they honor us,” Carr said, while seated on the corner of Main and Middle streets.
Hundreds of military veterans lined the streets or walked or rode in the annual gathering to pay tribute to those in uniform.
“We want to show our support for American’s veterans,” said Drew Francis, an Army veteran who lives in Brewer. “You know, they put their lives on the line for us.”
“We’re here to support our brothers and sisters that did their duty and protected this country,” said Rick Martin, an Army veteran from Bradley.
“To see everybody and give thanks to people who served in our country,” said Caleb Colby, a Bangor resident whose grandfather is a veteran.
Like many others in Maine, Hampden resident Patricia Totman said military service runs in her family.
“I had a husband in the Army, a son in the Air Force and a son-in-law in the Air Force,” she said, while seated with relatives near the corner of Main and Union streets.
She also has a grandson who serves.
Veterans from each era walked or rode the route, followed by local and state emergency responders, and youngsters — Scouts, marching bands and local junior ROTC units.
“We’re seeing our sister in the parade,” said a young Bangor resident named Ali.
“Yea, her name is Casey and she’s in JROTC,” said her brother, Harper.
Educating youth about service is crucial for them to understanding history.
“It’s very important, I think, for the kids to come up and see, you know, understand the sacrifice these folks are making,” said Francis. “These are people’s children who volunteer to protect our rights. So I want to impress that upon my son the importance of the respect they deserve and should get.”