HODGDON, Maine — Residents have a new monument to pay their respects to military veterans who lost their lives in battle.
Town officials completed the installation of the new Hodgdon veterans’ memorial monument Monday evening as the second of two granite benches was erected. The new monument is adjacent to the Hodgdon Fire Department on property donated to the town by the family of Bud Estabrook in memory of their father.
A ceremony to mark the dedication of the monument will be at 3 p.m. Sunday with guest speakers and a barbecue.
The new monument replaces a wooden memorial that had been located downtown near the town gas station. That memorial blew down six years ago, according to Jim Griffin, Hodgdon town manager. The wooden monument had been built many years ago by students at Hodgdon High School and only honored World War II veterans. The new monument pays tribute to all veterans dating back to the Civil War.
“We organized a committee to replace the monument, and the decision was made to honor as many as we could through the Vietnam War,” Griffin said. “We decided to go with a granite memorial so it will last.”
Griffin said the town underwent an exhaustive research process trying to locate the names of veterans for the earlier wars.
“It was hard,” Griffin said. “A lot of the information was classified, and a lot of times they go by addresses when you join and all of our addresses back then were Houlton.”
Griffin said he received assistance from Eugene Jackins of Houlton for many of the earlier war heroes.
Fundraisers and donations helped cover the majority of the expense for the new memorial, which cost about $17,000, according to Griffin.
The monument is also illuminated, thanks to the work of electrician Brian Nightingale. The Galen Cole Family Foundation donated one of the two granite benches, while Elwood and Dinah Tidd purchased the other.
“A lot of people stepped up and donated large amounts of money for this project,” he said. “All of the work putting in the patio bricks was done by people donating their time.”