World War II veteran Edward Hendrickson, 103, was cheered as he made his way along the Bangor-Brewer Veterans Day parade route on Saturday.

Family, friends and supporters braved the cold to honor veterans from all US military branches during the annual Veterans Day Parade as it wound from Brewer through Bangor Saturday morning.

Hosted by Bangor High School Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, the day was all about recognizing veterans’ past contributions and looking ahead to future service to the country.

“We are proud to recognize the service of veterans,” said Cadet Luke Dusablon, lieutenant colonel of the Bangor junior ROTC. “For us, future service is a high priority.”

It was a chilly day for the annual Veterans Day Parade in Brewer and Bangor on Saturday with spectators bundled up against the cold. Snuggling together for warmth are siblings Maxwell, Charlotte and Elle Black with their parents Taylor and Anthony.

Every veteran has their own, unique story to tell, said Dustin Smiley, retired US Navy aviator and parade grand marshal. “They have marched, shipped and flown to the front and they have all been part of filling the inescapable need for defense and security in this country.”

Units from state and local military units, representing the more than 100,000 veterans in Maine, marched from Brewer to Bangor accompanied by high school bands, honor guards and first responder personnel.

Veterans celebrate their comrades during the annual Bangor-Brewer Veterans Day parade on Saturday.

Military and high school bands performed patriotic tunes and a special ceremony in front of the grandstand included a moving trumpet solo of Taps and a 21-gun-salute by the Bangor High School Junior ROTC honor guard.

Among those participating was 103-year-old Edward Hendrickson, WWII Navy pilot. 

Watching with other spectators was Korean War veteran Royal Henderson.

“It’s an honor to be here,” Henderson said. “I am proud of all of them.”

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.