Lorraine Glidden and John Skolas like Veterans Day parades a lot.

So after taking in the South Portland parade, which went down Broadway to Mill Creek Park at 10 a.m. Saturday, they raced over to watch Portland’s parade, which set out from Longfellow Square down Congress Street to City Hall at 10:30 a.m.

“We had to make a beeline,” said Glidden.

The two Westbrook residents were among the Mainers who turned out at parades and ceremonies across the state to observe Veterans Day, a national holiday that marks the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I and honors those who have served in the U.S. military.

Attendees braved blustery conditions and a wind chill factor that made temperatures feel like the low teens.

“When you think of what all the veterans went through, I guess I can handle a little cold for a few hours,” said Bridget Bowden of Portland, who stood in a sunny spot away from the wind on Congress Street to watch her daughter, Molly, perform with the high school marching band. The grand marshal was Portland resident Jim Foley, a veteran of the Marine Corps and a longtime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion.

The Portland event was sponsored by the Harold T. Andrews Post 17 of the American Legion. It featured veterans organizations, a Girl Scout troop, antique vehicles, fire engines and the submarine float of the United States Submarine Veterans Inc.’s Maine chapter.

The parade concluded with a wreath-laying ceremony at City Hall, where Mayor Ethan Strimling thanked veterans on behalf of the city.

“Without you, without question, we would not be as good a nation, as good a state and as good a city,” said Strimling.

Herb Adams of Portland, a Maine historian, reminded attendees that the United States entered World War I in 1917.

“We commemorate. We do not celebrate,” said Adams.

Robert Barnes of Cape Elizabeth, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam, said he always seeks out a parade on Veterans Day. He spends time thinking about other veterans, remembering his own service and touching base with his Army buddies.

“We get emails and texts from the people we served with,” said Barnes.

Jerry and Martha MacVane of Scarborough were at the Portland parade. Jerry MacVane comes from a long line of Navy veterans. He said he thinks about them on Veterans Day.

“My dad, uncles and cousins all served in the Navy,” said MacVane.

The South Portland parade started near Southern Maine Community College and proceeded down Broadway to the Veterans Memorial in Mill Creek Park, where a brief ceremony was held.

Organized by the South Portland War Veterans Memorial Association, the parade included Mayor Patti Smith and other dignitaries, veterans, color guards, Scout troops, Coast Guard members and their rescue boats on trailers, antique vehicles, firetrucks and the South Portland High School marching band.

Leaders of the concluding ceremony were Wes Splettstoesser, commander of American Legion Post No. 35, and Stephen Doyle, commander of VFW Post No. 832. Participants recited the Pledge of Allegiance, said a prayer, and sang the national anthem accompanied by the high school band.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard contributed to this report.

Beth Quimby can be contacted at 791-6363 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: bquimby

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