Westport Island, Maine Remembers
A Memorial Day thank you
A November 2011 study found that in the last decade, despite involvement in continuous military conflict, only one-half of one percent of adult Americans has served on active duty (“War and Sacrifice in the Post-911 Era”). The number of military veterans is closer to 10 percent.
Maine exceeds national averages when it comes to military service. According to the National Priorities Project Database, Maine ranked #1 in FY2010 for the number of recruits entering the military — 3.6 percent of youth aged 18-24. …And, according to census data, veterans account for a little over 12 percent of Maine’s population.
As distinctive, Maine must rank near the top in thanking those who serve. The Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington started “Wreaths Across America” which places wreaths each Christmas on gravestones at Arlington National Cemetary and other veteran’s cemetaries — last year laying 100,000 wreaths. Or, perhaps you’ve heard of the Freeport Flag Ladies who travel to Bangor and Pease International Airports to greet troops returning home; mail packages, cards, and letters to troops; and have stood along Main Street in Freeport holding flags to honor our troops each Tuesday since 911. …And, then there are the Maine Troop Greeters who day or night, rain or shine, greet troops returning from active duty through the Bangor International Airport. Since May of 2003, they have greeted over 6,400 flights, 1,300,000 service members, and 300 military dogs.
Westport Islanders have served our nation from the Revolutionary War through modern wars and into post-911 conflicts. And, on this Memorial weekend, the Island is dotted with its thank yous…
“Your silent tents of green we deck
with fragrant flowers;
yours has the suffering been,
the memory shall be ours.”
from Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow