Veteran and resident Anthony Dietrich. Photo courtesy of Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta

Memorial Day at Maine Veterans’ Homes Augusta looked much different this year in the absence of its usual display — parades, visits from veteran service organizations and speeches by local dignitaries.

Staff at the home, however, stepped in to ensure it was a meaningful day of recognition for those men and women who died in active military service, according to a news release from Molly Lovell-Keely, Communications and Stewardship coordinator, Maine Veterans’ Homes.

Led by Jake Anderson, home administrator, staff performed a presentation of flags, prayers, songs and more. Anderson also read a poem by Lt. Col. Samuel Lombardo.

Rhona Suga, director of Nursing at Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta. Photo courtesy of Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta

“You were there when you were called and you gave so much of yourself,” said Anderson, addressing the home’s veterans, according to the release. “There’s a saying our industry that caring for the elderly is a noble cause, and I for one absolutely agree; it’s an honor and privilege to provide care and service to some of the most deserving men and women in our state.”

Anderson said he’d be remiss if he didn’t mention the recent challenges experienced by all because of COVID-19.

Ramona Boucher, activities director at Maine Veterans’ Homes — Augusta, helped make the ceremony a meaningful one with the usual fanfare and remembrance ceremonies held at the home.

“We know this time has not been easy for you, our residents, who we put first at every opportunity. I look forward to days when we can welcome back our families and visitors back without restrictions and a return to normal days of social gatherings, bingo and no fear of this virus.”