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31st monument unveiled at Memorial Day Ceremony

Prior to the ceremony, U.S. Senator Susan Collins walks in the Auburn Memorial Day Parade with the Grand Marshall, decorated Marine Colonel Todd Desgrosseilliers (retired).

During this year’s L-A Memorial Day Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in Lewiston, officials unveiled the park’s 31st granite monument, honoring more than 200 Lewiston-Auburn servicemen. Also unveiled at the event was a new bench honoring Shingo Douglass, who died aboard the USS Fitzgerald in 2017, when it collided with a cargo ship off the coast of Japan. The bench was donated by Douglass’ family. Douglass’ grandfather is a past commander of the Auburn VFW and serves on the L&A Veterans Council. 

U.S. Senator Susan Collins delivered the keynote address at the ceremony. “Here in Lewiston and Auburn, and throughout America, we gather today to express our gratitude,” said Senator Collins. “In countless villages, small towns, and big cities, we raise our voices in song and bow our heads in prayer in honor of those who gave their all for all of us. As we do these things, we are reminded that freedom is a gift purchased at the greatest possible price.

“On this day, as we honor the fallen, we also honor those who served and returned home, and those who serve today,” she continued. “And, while we thank our men and women in uniform for their sacrifices and contributions, we also thank the families – the husbands and wives, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and mothers and fathers – who endure the separation, anxiety, and – at times – grief that are also part of freedom’s price.”

Before the ceremony, Senator Collins marched in Auburn’s Memorial Day Parade with Grand Marshall Todd Desgrosseilliers, an Auburn native who retired as a decorated United States Marine after 30 years of service. Desgrosseilliers now serves as CEO of Project Healing Waters in Washington D.C. 

Part of Auburn’s year-long 150th anniversary celebration, the Memorial Day Parade was, according to city officials, the largest in the state this year.

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