Portland memorial re-dedication, parade to mark Veterans Day

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PORTLAND — On the 100th anniversary of the armistice to end World War I, Veterans Day will be celebrated with a re-dedication of the Eastern Promenade memorial to Cpl. Jacob Cousins on Friday, Nov. 9, at 10:30 a.m.

At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, the annual Veterans Day parade will march down Congress Street from Longfellow Square to Monument Square. The parade is organized by American Legion Harold T. Andrews Post No. 17.

Cousins, the first Jewish veteran from Portland to die in World War I, was killed Oct. 14, 1918, in the Meuse-Argonne offensive in northern France. He died less than a month before the armistice was declared.

Cousins was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Medal. The memorial in his honor was first dedicated in 1935. A second plaque in memory of the seven Jewish veterans killed in World War II was added later.

The memorial site, near Cutter Street, has been expanded to include a plaza with benches overlooking Casco Bay. City spokeswoman Jessica Grondin said the $41,000 project was funded by the city and private fundraising by the Friends of the Eastern Promenade.

Cousins was one of 1,032 Mainers and 67 Portland residents to die in the war.

At 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, there will also be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Easterseals Maine Veterans Count Heroes Wall at DiMillo’s Boardwalk off Commercial Street. The wreath is donated by Wreaths Across America; the wall commemorates veterans, while also raising funds for Easterseals Maine’s military and veteran services.

Also on Nov. 9, the Portland Rotary will host its fourth annual Veterans’ Appreciation Luncheon at noon at Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St. Guests must preregister for the luncheon, which is free for veterans and $25 for all others. Visit portlandrotary.org for more information and registration.

Following the Nov. 11 parade, there will be a ceremony and wreath-laying outside City Hall at Robert B. Ganley Memorial Plaza.

The parade staging area will require street closures and parking restrictions from 9 a.m.-noon:

• Congress Street from Mellen to State streets.

• State Street from Cumberland Avenue to Congress Street.

• Dow Street From Congress to Brackett streets.

The parade route on Congress Street to City Hall will result in these street closures from 10:15 a.m.-noon:

• Congress Street from State to Franklin streets.

• High Street from Spring to Deering streets.

• Forest Avenue from Cumberland Avenue to Congress Street.

• Casco Street from Shepley to Congress streets.

• Center Street from Free to Congress streets.

• Preble Street from Cumberland Avenue to Congress Street.

• Temple Street from Federal to Congress streets.

• Chestnut Street from Cumberland Avenue to Congress Street.

From 10:15 a.m.-1 p.m., the area outside City Hall will be closed to traffic. This includes Congress Street from Temple to Pearl streets; left turns from Chestnut and Market streets to Congress Street will also not be allowed.

David Harry can be reached at 780-9092 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

The Eastern Promenade memorial honoring Cpl. Jacob Cousins and Jewish veterans who died in World War II will be re-dedicated Nov. 9 in Portland.

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Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.