Larry Reynolds of Southwest Harbor speaks in Eugene Norwood Square in Southwest Harbor Monday morning. More than a third of his Pemetic High School graduating class in 1962 joined the military, he said. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Memorial Day marked

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Every Memorial Day morning, the Mount Desert Island High School band has to hustle.

They gather in Southwest Harbor first thing, in time to be in formation and ready to play and march in that town’s ceremony and parade that begins at 9 a.m.

As soon as that’s over, the students load themselves and their instruments back up and head all the way around Somes Sound to Northeast Harbor, where they’re on the bill for the ceremony and parade at 10:30 a.m.

The middle school bands also help commemorate the day: Pemetic and Tremont play in Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert in Northeast Harbor and Conners Emerson at the Bar Harbor town pier.

In Southwest Harbor, Larry Reynolds of the American Legion post told the group that he began helping decorate graves for Memorial Day at Mt. Height cemetery when he was a Boy Scout.

He remembered that the telephone company office was where Cafe Drydock is now, affording the staff there a good view of the town’s youngsters in their comings and goings. Parents would call and ask where their kid was, and the operators would assure them “he’ll be home in time for dinner.”

“We say we were raised in Southwest Harbor,” he said, “but we didn’t grow up until we went away.”

Reynolds graduated from Pemetic High School in June of 1962. Out of a graduating class of 32, he said, 11 joined the military.

The American Legion, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, works to honor the sacrifices of slain military members “by caring for those they loved the most,” he said.

Active duty U.S. Coast Guard members led the color guard in the Southwest Harbor parade, followed by American Legion members, fire and ambulance departments and the school bands.

In Bar Harbor, Post Adjutant Paul Blackstone of the American Legion Post 25, Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap and others addressed a gathering at the town pier. Bar Harbor Fire Department members Matt Horton, Griffin Costello-Sanders and Sean Hall were the color guard.

The Northeast Harbor American Legion Post 103 led the ceremony in that town, which included a parade from the elementary school to the Joseph Musetti Veterans Memorial Park at the marina.

Memorial Day gatherings were also held at the Blue Star Memorial Highway market on Route 3 in Bar Harbor and on Little Cranberry Island.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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