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Legionnaires honor fallen comrades at Memorial Day ceremony

FORT KENT, Maine — Members of Martin-Klein American Legion Post 133 paid their respects to fallen service members during a Memorial Day ceremony on Sunday, May 26.

The Legionnaires visited nine cemeteries throughout the greater Fort Kent area on Sunday where they laid down wreaths to honor the fallen and Martin-Klein Commander Wayne Caron read from a memorial book honoring the servicemen and women buried at each site.

The Legionnaires also commemorated Memorial Day at two bridges in the area — the Soldier Pond Bridge and the Fish River Bridge.

Caron explained why the Legionnaires make such an effort to honor their deceased comrades each year.

“It’s an honor to be able to recognize these veterans who passed away,” Caron said.  “A lot of these veterans who passed away were our friends. Some of them never made it back from wars, and some of them died normal deaths, but when you lose a friend, especially in a war zone, it affects the guys who survive too.”

Martin-Klein American Legion Post 133 bugler Orene Daigle played taps to honor the fallen at each site, and other Legion members provided a 21-gun salute.

Fort Kent Police Officer Curtis Picard escorted the Legionnaires to the Fort Kent area sites.

Caron said he appreciated the professionalism and respect Picard demonstrated for the fallen veterans. Although he was positioned in the background directing traffic, Picard maintained a respectful solemnity during each event and held his hand on his heart during the playing of taps.

Caron said he also appreciated that Kim Rohn, a representative for Congressman Jared Golden, attended all of the local ceremonies and read a message from Golden at Protestant Cemetery in Fort Kent.

“I have had the privilege of serving alongside brave men and women who were willing to give the ultimate sacrifice so that we may be safe and free. On this day of remembrance, let us honor those who willingly gave their lives for our freedom, at a cost that can never be repaid,” Golden’s message read. “On this day let us also remember and thank the families of the fallen. We must care for them as though they are our own.”

Caron, who served in the Marine Corps 1967-1971 and then spent 16 years of service in the Army National Guard, said the Marine Corps League will honor World War II veterans from Mars Hill on up with a ceremony and meal at the St. Francis Community Center on Saturday, June 15. That event will take place at 11 a.m. and will be free to those who have served in any branch of the United States armed services. The cost of the meal will be $10 per person for civilians. All are invited to attend the event.

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