MILO, Maine — A tattered Union Jack, the flag that was flown on the U.S.S. Chicopee in Tokyo Bay in September 1945, which now is displayed on a wall of the Joseph P. Chaisson American Legion Post 41, serves as a reminder that freedom is not free.
The flag, whose era hearkens to the time Adm. William Halsey signed a peace treaty with Japan that officially ended World War II, was owned by the late Carroll Staples of Milo. Staples, who died in 1986, had served on the ship. His widow, Meta Staples, donated the prized possession to the Legion post.
The gift was appreciated by the Legion members, who recognized Staples and three other local people Wednesday for their significant contributions to the community.
“‘It’s just an awesome piece of history,” Reginald Earley Sr., Legion commander, said Thursday of the gift. Staples, who was accompanied to the annual meeting by three grandchildren, was presented a certificate of appreciation.
Earley said the Legion makes it a point to single out people who have made significant contributions to the community.
Contributions such as those of Police Chief Michael Poulin who, he said, has worked tirelessly to eliminate crime in the community. Poulin, who was accompanied by his wife, Elaine, was presented with a Law Enforcement Certificate of Commendation for his outstanding public service benefiting the community, state and nation. In 1990 when Poulin worked for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department, he was named the American Legion Law Officer of the Year for the state.
Also recognized this week was Terrance Knowles of Brownville Junction, who made and donated the display case for the Union Jack, and William Graves III of Williamsburg for his donation of glass for the case.