FARMINGTON — The sacrifices of veterans were remembered on Memorial Day with a parade, music, speeches and a wreath-laying ceremony.

At Roderick-Crosby American Legion Post 28, Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to be Maine’s next governor, said every day should be Memorial Day.

“For 150 years, we have celebrated Memorial Day, first celebrated in memory of those who gave their lives in the Civil War,” she said.

Mills shared statistics from the various wars:

• Civil War: 3 million fought and 600,000 died.

• World War I: 9 million died.

• World War II: More than 16 million members of the U.S. armed forced served, 407,316 of whom died.

• Korean War: 136,935 casualties, including 33,651 American deaths.

• Vietnam War: 58,318 American deaths

• Iraq and Afghanistan: Thousands lost in the wars on terrorism.

Mills said thousands of veterans are buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, and thousands more are buried across this country and abroad.

“So many have died in wartime fighting over the course of our nation’s history,” Mills said. “More than the stars we see in the Milky Way. More than the ripples on a windy Maine lake.”

Mills said more men from Maine than any other state served and died in the Civil War.

“Today, our state still sacrifices more, proportionally,” Mills said. “The loss of our honored dead puts the hustle and bustle of our daily lives in perspective. It puts us in our place and leaves us with a touch of grace.

“The richness of our own lives is due solely to the profoundness of their sacrifice. Their destiny shaped our faiths, changed the course of our nation and town. They died not so we could have perfect lives, but so we and our children and grandchildren would have the chance to grow and love, to serve and share.”

Added Mills: “When we are not complacent, speak our mind, cast a vote, practice our faith, treat others with civility, we honor and remember our veterans. Our veterans fought against intolerance, ignorance, violence, villainy and tyranny. We honor those who died for our country by telling their stories to our children and grandchildren. Keeping the memories and lessons of war alive makes every day Memorial Day.”

Francis Parlin laid a wreath at the post memorial prior to the parade. During the parade, stops were made to place wreaths at monuments in Meeting House Park and at Center Burying Ground, behind the Franklin County Courthouse.

Legionnaire Jim Harris sang “God Bless America,” and members of the Old Crow Indian Band played taps and performed an echo after which the parade returned to the post.

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