LINCOLN, Maine — Louis Michaud’s father Raymond flew 55 B-24 missions over Europe as a navigator during World War II, but spoke more of the death of fellow aviator Stephen W. Groves during the Battle of Midway than his own experiences, Michaud said.
“They were the best of friends,” Michaud said Friday. “My father always talked about how unfair it was that his friend died. He [Groves] was quite an engineer. A brilliant man. My father didn’t ever open up about the war, but I have a lot of respect for veterans.”
That’s why the 63-year-old Lincoln man stood with his hat over his heart and shook hands with marchers in a Summit Project parade through Lincoln on Friday. Close to 100 people walked or rode from Main Street at the Town Office to the Machias Bank branch at West Broadway and Penobscot Avenue.
Surviving family members and friends carried 25 engraved stones during the parade as part of what organizers called “a living memorial” to Maine veterans. The stones were dedicated to 25 Lincoln-area military men who died while serving their country since 9/11. The stone carriers related life stories and anecdotes of the 25 at a ceremony at the bank branch once the parade concluded.
The Summit Project is a nationally recognized, Maine based, nonprofit service organization founded by Marine Corps Maj. David J. Cote in 2013, to pay tribute to post-9/11 fallen service members.
The Lincoln parade was distinguished by the members of seven area families that lost sons since the World Trade Center attack, said Justin Cloukey, a co-coordinator of the event.
Lincoln resident Sonja Walker said she was glad the event came to Lincoln.
“I have family that is in the military. I think it is a good idea to be out here supporting the local veterans and spreading awareness. More people should be involved,” Walker said.