The 145th consecutive Memorial Day observance in Westminster is being planned as a four-day event, May 25-28, with numerous activities to honor and pay tribute to veterans.
The celebration, sponsored by the American Legion Post 31, has been coordinated by local resident Arnold "Skip" Amas, and been in the works for more than a year, with a committee including volunteers from across the community pitching in.
The celebration will include familiar aspects such as the traditional Memorial Day Parade on Main Street and the observance at the Westminster Cemetery, as well as additional events including a car show at City hall and a reenactors' encampment at the Carroll County Farm Museum.
The 145th parade — considered to be one of the oldest continuing observances in America — will have U.S. Navy Commander Matthew Shipley, a 1984 Westminster High School graduate, as its grand marshal.
Shipley graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1991, and has served in posts including Virginia, Iraq and Kenya as a Navy SEALS platoon commander; officer-in-charge of a special operations craft at U.S. Special Operations Command; and a Naval Special Warfare Task Unit commander, among other posts
As a civilian he is a government contractor, a Constitutional lecturer, and author of an energy-efficiency book. He is the son of Michael and Barbara Shipley, and he is married to the former Christine Saseen.
For more details on activities and features planned for the Memorial Day weekend in Westminster, go to the website, carrollmemorialday.com. Activities are as follows:
Friday, May 25
• 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. — Free screenings of the movie, "Patton," starring George C. Scott, at the Carroll Arts Center, 91 W. Main St., Westminster.
• 5-10 p.m. — Friday "Cruise-In" at the VFW Post, 519 Poole Road, Westminster, with food available for purchase and a cash bar.
Saturday, May 26
• 9 a.m.-2 p.m. — Westminster lot in front of City Hall, Longwell Avenue, Westminster. Antique car show with entries by the AACA Gettysburg Region Antique Car Club, the Street Cars of Desire and the Free State Corvette Club.
• Noon-5 p.m. — Events at the Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster. Reenactors depicting the life and times of soldiers during the War of 1812, the Civil War, World War I, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Kuwait and other conflicts. There will be demonstrations and displays and encampments. Also jeep rides for kids and a rock climbing wall. Free admission to events.
• 3 p.m. — Also at the farm museum, a concert will feature the Westminster Municipal Band and the Old Line Statesmen Barbershop Group.
• 4-7 p.m. — Fried chicken dinner and entertainment at the VFW Post, 519 Poole Road. Cost is $8 adults; $5 children ages 3 to 8. For tickets, call 410-848-9888, Ext. 1, or Deb Carns at 443-677-0361.
Saturday, May 26
• 7-11 p.m. — Heroes Dance at the VFW Post. Ticket $5; call 410-848-9888, Ext. 1, or 443-677-0361.
Sunday, May 27
• Noon-5 p.m. — Events at the Carroll County Farm Museum, 500 S. Center St., Westminster, continue with reenactors, jeep rides and a rock climbing wall. Free admission to events.
• 3 p.m. — Band concert at the farm museum featuring the Winters Mill High School Band and Joe and Audrey Cimino performing patriotic songs.
Monday, May 28
• 9:30 a.m.-Noon — 145th Memorial Day Parade, from Pennsylvania Avenue to Main Street to the Westminster Cemetery. At the conclusion of the parade observance held at the cemetery with comments by grand marshal Commander Matthew Shipley, USN.
• 2 p.m. (time approximate) — Memorial Day service at VFW Post, 519 Poole Road, with guest speaker, retired Army Chaplain Col. Joel Cocklin, a Westminster native who graduated from Westminster High School in 1965. Also an open house, refreshments and special music. Call 443-677-0361 for details.