Tri-community veterans monument placed in Wallagrass memorial park

WALLAGRASS, Maine — The communities of Wallagrass, New Canada and Cross Lake combined forces to ensure that all those who served in the United States military will not be forgotten.

A monument honoring veterans of the three towns was placed Friday at a new Veterans Memorial Park in Wallagrass. 

Elias Monuments of Madison built and delivered the $12,000 monument, which was funded through grassroots fundraising efforts of a Tri-Community Veterans Memorial Committee composed of people from the three communities and Soldier Pond/Wallagrass Revitalization Committee.

The park, which has two benches and will soon include flag poles with solar-powered lights to illuminate the monument at night, overlooks the Fish River and provides a peaceful place for all who visit to reflect on the efforts and sacrifices veterans have contributed to the security of the United States. 

FORT KENT, Maine – September 2, 2022 – Veterans John Bouchard (left) and George Pooler watch as a new monument is lowered into place at a Veterans Memorial Park in Wallagrass on Friday. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

Paving bricks in the area immediately in front of the monument will be replaced with memorial bricks honoring individual people who have served.

Anyone can purchase a paver at the monument to honor a veteran, regardless of where they are from, at $40 for a 4-by-8-inch paver, or $60 for an 8-inch square paver.

Elias Monuments owner Jim Elias and his son Thomas, who also works for the business, carefully lowered the monument to its foundation Friday morning with a crane, as several veterans watched in silence. 

Tri-community committee chairperson Melford Pelletier became so emotional after the monument was placed that it took him a moment to share his feelings.

“For those we’ve lost,” Pelletier said. 

Vietnam veteran John Bouchard of Fort Kent, who also serves on the committee, said veterans will certainly appreciate the monument.

“It will mean a lot to them, especially in a small town like this here,” Bouchard said. 

A public ceremony celebrating the new monument will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at the park, with a light luncheon to follow. 

FORT KENT, Maine – September 2, 2022 – Jim Elias (left) and his son Thomas Elias of Elias Monuments place a veterans monument at the site of a Veterans Memorial Park in Wallagrass. (Jessica Potila | St. John Valley Times)

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