The Portland community observed Memorial Day under warm and sunny skies, as VFW Post 4090 began the service from the Veterans Memorial Bridge. The Post Auxiliary opened the service with the dedication of a wreath by Auxiliary President Shirley Teachout and a prayer by Auxiliary Chaplin Richard Hans.
Lead by Portland Public Safety the color guard continued on Bridge street to Lehman Funeral home where the Auxiliary President and Chaplin paid respect to the fallen heroes of World War II memorial site.
The escort continued up Bridge Street with a stop at Smith Street for the ringing of the bells by the Methodist, Congregational and Baptist churches.
The final stop was at the Portland Cemetery for the conclusion of the service.
After VFW Post commander Bill Almy welcomed the spectators, Post Chaplin Gerald Ingraham gave the opening prayer. The pledge of allegiance followed and Portland High School Band played the National Anthem.
In recognition of the American Legion, celebrating its 100-year anniversary Commander Almy introduced American Legion Post 129 Commander Dave Fedewa. Commander Fedewa explained how the Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 and how it has grown through the many years still keeping the focus on service to veterans, service members and the community.
Following commander Fedewa speech, commander Almy prepare the spectators with the following introduction, ““several years ago it was brought to our attention that buried in this cemetery is a Medal of Honor recipient from the Civil War era. Our Post, the Auxiliary and the American Legion thought it was time to honor the individual with a historical sign to identify the person and the event, which lead to the citation. To help us present this historical sing, is former history teacher for Portland, Mr. Derek Rainey.”
Derek Rainey delighted the audience when he proceeded to the microphone in full Union officer uniform and sward in his portrayal of Lieutenant Edwin Goodrich Medal of Honor recipient.
While staying in character, Mr. Rainey explained the military career of Lt. Goodrich starting in 1861 – 1865 and the action that lead to rescuing he sergeant from under his fallen horse.
At the conclusion of speech, Derek unveiled the historical sign to an enthusiastic round of applause. After the unveiling, Portland High band played “Battle Hymn of the Republic”. The Post rifle squad salute followed with taps played by the Portland High School band.
Chaplin Gerald Ingraham gave the closing prayer.
As the high school band played a drum march, Derek Rainey led the VFW float and audience to Edwin Goodrich’s head stone for closing services.
Commander Almy thanked Mr. Derek Rainey for his portrayal of Lt. Edwin Goodrich and his dedication, research and time while researching the family connection to Portland.
The Edwin Goodrich historical sign is located near the entrance in the Portland City cemetery a few steps south of the GAR monument. The historical sign of Lt. Edwin Goodrich offers the chronological events that led to Medal of Honor Citation. Lt. Edwin Goodrich mustered out of his regiment with the rank of Captain in July of 1865. . Lt. Edwin Goodrich’s gravestone is located in section A-3 in the cemetery.
Throughout history, those who serve and defend, those who have faced the greatest dangers and won the greatest battles, and those who die for their country receive the highest honors.
VFW Post 4090, the Auxiliary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars thank the community of Portland for the support.