• May 25 Class Elections for Grades 9-11 – (Homeroom)

  • May 23 Annual Academic Awards Banquet – (Lower Gym – 6:00PM; Aud.7:00PM – Awards)

  • May 22 Financial Fitness Fair for Interested Juniors – (Loring Job Corps)

  • May 21 Tennis Singles Round of 46 & 32 – (Colby College – 8:30AM)

  • May 21-25 Destination Imagination Global Finals – Knoxville TN

Local Cemetery Decorated in Honor of Veterans

Volunteers+line+up+in+front+of+the+gravestones+at+Fairmount+cemetary.+They+honored+60+veterans+with+donated+wreaths+that+day.
Volunteers line up in front of the gravestones at Fairmount cemetary. They honored 60 veterans with donated wreaths that day.

Volunteers line up in front of the gravestones at Fairmount cemetary. They honored 60 veterans with donated wreaths that day.

Melissa Lizotte

Melissa Lizotte

Volunteers line up in front of the gravestones at Fairmount cemetary. They honored 60 veterans with donated wreaths that day.

Chris Michaud, Staff Writer

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In the cold, crisp winter air, a group of people huddle in the Chamber of Commerce parking lot across from Fairmount Cemetery. A mix of adults, Boy Scouts, and local citizens looking to contribute a wreath for a veteran get ready to distribute the symbolic tokens of appreciation. Every person was there for a reason: to remember the veterans and honor their memories. Two trucks sit in the parking lot filled with wreaths ready to be placed.

“We thank you for your service,” rang across the cemetery as each wreath was placed in the snow in front of the graves. In what seemed like seconds, the sixty wreaths were placed and sixty soldiers were honored. “It’s a great way to get connected with the veterans that are deceased,” local volunteer Stacy Williams said.  “It’s a great way to show thankfulness to their service. I was glad to be a part of this years Wreaths Across America program.”

Wreaths Across America was founded in 1992 when Morill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company, found that he had a surplus of wreaths. As a result, he decided to donate them to the Arlington National Cemetery. Other businesses such as the trucking company Blue Bird Ranch, offered free transportation all the way to DC. The donation happened quietly every year until 2005 when the picture of the memorial circulated the internet and people began donating to the cause. Through the help of donations, wreaths are placed on 1,400 veterans cemeteries across the country, including at monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and the Capitol.

This year Fairmount received fifty wreaths to place on veterans’ graves, along with ten extra wreaths from Cook’s Florist, and the Caribou Veteran Cemetery received over ninety wreaths to place on graves. On the third Saturday in December every year volunteers across the nation place wreaths on gravestones. This year that happened to land on December 16. It is a massive undertaking to get the wreaths everywhere that they need to go, thankfully due to the help of trucking companies, such as Walmart and Tyson Foods, they are able to get all of the wreaths to the cemeteries across the nation. It started with the charity of one man, and has exploded into a nationwide organization with one goal in mind: to give respect to the fallen soldiers of our great nation.

With all of the wreaths distributed around Fairmount Cemetery, a sense of pride permeated the air. Stepping back and seeing the lines of wreaths peeking out from the front of the graves, and knowing that the veterans who had risked their lives to protect the country being honored felt right. In that moment, a sense of connection existed as everyone simultaneously stared at the graves in amazement. “It is a shame that not more people came,” organizer Calvin Hall said.  “I’m thankful for everyone that came by, but at the same time there should have been more of a turnout for our fallen veterans.” Every single person there had contributed, and worked together toward a single goal, and in that everyone had something in common.

1 Comment

One Response to “Local Cemetery Decorated in Honor of Veterans”

  1. Jane James on April 4th, 2018 6:04 pm

    This was a wonderful article and very well written. I hate to be picky, but it drove this old teacher nuts when cemetery was misspelled, especially in the title. I feel confident that some of you are going to go on to become professional journalists some day. I frequently notice these mistakes in current publications that are quite prominent. I hope you folks, as our future sources of information, do a better job. Over all, I give this article an A++! Sincerely, Jane James

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Local Cemetery Decorated in Honor of Veterans