Spirit of Memorial Day an everyday experience

Posted May 24, 2009, at 7:03 p.m.

For people like me, who live near Bangor International Airport, every day is, really, Memorial Day, because members of the military are part of our lives day and night.

Like our wonderfully faithful Maine Troop Greeters, we who live near BIA know pretty much just what flies in and out of the airport, and which planes are carrying members of the military to or from their next or last postings.

I always look up when I see or hear one of those huge, special planes slowly descending or preparing for takeoff.

You can’t miss the different sight or sound of those noncommercial planes, and you simply can’t forget how precious are those contained therein.

Whether I’m indoors, in my yard, taking a walk or on the golf course, I always look skyward and say to them “be safe” if you’re headed out, and “welcome home” if you’re coming back; the same words I use when I’m at the airport and our troops are passing through.

I am grateful to our troop greeters for representing us at all hours of the day and night, especially when I’m awakened by a plane taking off at 3 a.m. and know those troops did not leave here without a personal farewell on our behalf.

That having been said, I extend to all our servicemen and servicewomen, their families and friends, my sincere gratitude for your service and commitment to country yesterday, today and tomorrow.

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Two people extend their thanks to all who helped make those troop greetings more enjoyable last winter when our service members were passing through Bangor International Airport.

Arline Smith of Roque Bluffs reported that her effort, working with the Maine Troop Greeters, to deliver valentine gift bags, resulted in 340 of them being “given out to two flights,” and Smith thanks everyone who purchased a bag, including folks in her area and people in Greater Bangor.

“It was a most memorable day and I would do it again in the future,” Smith said, “even though I had to get up at 1 a.m. to be there for a 4 a.m. flight.”

Dick Giffard of Brewer thanks the manager of the Dollar Tree Store in Brewer who helped with the Bears for Troops program, during which 150 bears were purchased for our troops and their families.

Giffard thanks everyone who helped with this project.

Anyone who wants to make donations through the Maine Troop Greeters program should contact treasurer Cathy Czarnecki, 848-5901, or e-mail theczarneckis@myfairpoint.net, or contact secretary Clayton Dodge, 866-5901 or e-mail dodge@Maine.edu for information regarding donation guidelines.

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The Maine Aviation Museum is open for the season.

Mike Cornett of Orono said the museum opened Memorial Day weekend and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 4 p.m. Sundays, through the summer, on Maine Avenue at Bangor International Airport.

Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for children 12 and older, free for children under 12.

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Tom Walsh reports volunteers are needed for a Habitat for Humanity workday for the home being built for the Fred and April Rummil family in Franklin.

Volunteers should arrive at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 30, at the site on Lonely Oaks Road, off Route 200.

Volunteers will do sheetrock work, complete the front porch, install siding and clean brush, Walsh wrote.

In a related development, Broughman Builders of Ellsworth is offering a $500 reward for “information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible” for a recent theft of copper piping from the site, according to a Bangor Daily News report.

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