CHESTERVILLE – The stories of Chesterville’s veterans, including the World War I & II veterans listed on a memorial, will be remembered as relatives gather to tell their stories and share their mementos at a special event to be held on Armed Services Day Saturday.
At 10 a.m. on May 16, the Chesterville War Memorial Honor Day will begin with an American Legion Honor Guard ceremony at the Honor Roll Monument on the corner of Zion’s Hill and Borough roads. Veterans of World Wars I and II are inscribed on the monument, which was first dedicated at the close of World War II.
Following the ceremony, the Chesterville Center Meeting House across the road from the monument will hold a reception with refreshments, exhibits, and an open microphone for words of remembrance, anecdotes, music, or any appropriate tribute to Chesterville veterans.
Legislators, selectmen, relatives and friends of Chesterville’s veterans are expected to attend, said organizer Caroline Tibbetts.
Tibbetts came up with the idea to honor Chesterville’s veterans on a visit with her grandson Alden Hallett, 11, of Augusta.
“He loves history and was interested in World War II and I said, ‘you have great uncles who fought in that war and I have pictures.’ He was so excited because it was his uncles, his family,” Tibbetts said.
Then, she began to think of all the youths who may not realize they, too, have family members who fought in the wars and have stories that need to be heard.
“Kids study history in school, but may not realize it is a part of them and that they can be proud of their family members who served in the service. This is history, it’s what belongs to them,” she said and added, “everybody needs history they can be proud of.”
At a meeting of town organizers looking to add community events, Tibbetts suggested a memorial service in which attendees bring their memories, photos, and memorabilia to share. The idea was embraced and Tibbetts, who has a relative, Merton Savage, listed on the memorial’s honor roll, got busy on the phone calling other Honor Roll descendants.
Families whose relatives are listed on the memorial wall are coming from several Maine towns, including Bingham, Bowdoinham, Carthage and Livermore, and bringing with them their remembrances and photographs to share with other attendees.
“One family is bringing 35 people. We’re going to have third and fourth generations coming. This is a big deal for a small town,” Tibbetts said.
Each attendee will be given a little flag and when their family name is called, will plant a flag at the memorial. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with displays available for public viewing at Chesterville Center Meeting House.
Chesterville civic organizations collaborating to host War Memorial Honor Day, include The Chesterville Heritage Society, Chesterville Extension Homemakers, Chesterville Heritage Society, fire fighters, selectmen, Grange members, and Chesterville Center Union Meeting House board members.
For more information, call Greg Soule at 897-4907, Cindy Whittier at 778-3708, or Tibbetts at 778-6216.