Ceremony to mark end of Korean War

Posted July 23, 2010, at 9:42 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Many of us know “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” the moment when the Armistice was signed for World War I in 1917.

Fewer have any idea about the 10th hour of the 27th day of the seventh month.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 27, at the Maine Korean War Memorial off Mount Hope Avenue in Bangor, veterans, families and friends will mark the truce ending the Korean War in 1953.

“That was 10 o’clock at night over there, when the cease-fire was signed” in Panmunjom, said Ed Davis of Orland, vice president of Burton-Goode-Sargent Chapter No. 1 of the Korean War Veterans Association.

Korean War veterans spent three years raising $60,000 for the 8-ton granite monument, the campaign for which was called “One More Hill.” It was installed in 1995.

The project initially was given approval for a spot in the Maine Veterans Cemetery in Augusta, but there were objections from some veterans groups.

Mount Hope Cemetery in Bangor came through with a plot of land below the GAR Civil War monument easily visible from the road.

Davis will be master of ceremonies Tuesday, with music by bagpiper Al Baker of the Anah Temple Shriners.

The principal speaker will be Charles “Dusty” Fisher, a veteran who served five years in the Legislature. The Bangor Detachment of the Marine Corps League will present the colors and after the ceremony retire the colors.

The invocation and benediction will be offered by the Rev. Peter Sprague, pastor of Columbia Baptist Church in Bangor.

Olive Benton and John Anderson will lay the wreath at the memorial, and Hal Wheeler will play taps. Don Baker will be a soloist.

The Maine Korean War Memorial was dedicated 15 years ago on July 29 as the 195th Army Band played the “Navy Hymn.”

Hundreds of people attended, with participants including Brig. Gen. Wilfred Hessert, then commander of the 101st Air Refueling Wing, Maine Air National Guard, Bangor, and South Korean Consul Shinil Park from Boston.

The monument had been named the State Korean War Memorial by the 117th Maine Legislature in LD 17, Jan. 12, 1995.

The Maine Korean War Memorial displays the names of 245 Maine men killed or missing in action in the 1950-53 war, including five Medal of Honor recipients.

Flags of 15 U.N. participating nations, plus those of the United States and South Korea are flown, signifying the first U.N. action since its formation in 1945.

The Remembrance Walkway in front of the monument honors veterans of all wars at Mount Hope Cemetery. It contains more than 700 memorial stones honoring individual veterans and groups from several wars. Many towns and organizations purchased stones, as well.

Ed Davis said there is room for 40-50 more stones.

Small stones, 6 inches by 12 inches, with room for 17 letters and spaces on three lines, are $125. A marker double that size, with up to 25 letters on seven lines, costs $200. The costs are the same as in 1995.

Those wishing to purchase a stone for the walkway may contact Carol Gilbert, 270 Back Ridge Road, Orland 04472.

Membership in Burton-Goode-Sargent Chapter No. 1, Korean War Veterans Association, is $10 a year or $75 for a life membership. Send checks to Burton-Goode-Sargent Chapter, c/o Fred Hardin, 516 River Road, Orrington 04474. Al Gibson is president of the Burton-Goode-Sargent Chapter.

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