HODGDON, Maine — A desire to create a striking, long-lasting memorial to Hodgdon’s veterans was fulfilled Sunday afternoon as more than 100 people gathered in the tiny community to dedicate its new veterans memorial monument.
A number of veterans attended the half-hour ceremony at the site of the new granite memorial, which is adjacent to the Hodgdon Fire Station. The memorial replaces an old wooden one that had been located downtown.
That memorial was lost six years ago when it was blown down, Town Manager Jim Griffin said Sunday. The town quickly organized a committee that dedicated itself to establishing a new memorial.
The massive monument lists the names of war veterans dating back to the Civil War and extending to the Vietnam War. It is handicapped-accessible, will be illuminated at night and is outfitted with two granite benches.
Milton Bayliss, the first vice commander of American Legion Post 47, was the guest speaker at the dedication ceremony. He said that he was proud to see the new monument established.
“For those of us who served and for those who paid the ultimate price, we can only hope that future generations view this memorial as a testament to the cost of freedom,” he said.
He added that he looks forward to the day when monuments such as the one dedicated Sunday become unnecessary.
Griffin said that volunteers painstakingly conducted research to find the names of veterans who had served in past wars.
“We did a lot of research and talked to community members to make sure we got everyone,” he told the crowd. “This is truly a community effort. People made big and small donations to make this possible.“
Donations also came from businesses and organizations, and much of the labor was donated. The land that the new monument sits on was donated to the town.
The total project cost approximately $17,000.
“We wanted this monument to stand the test of time as a testament to the freedom our veterans fought for,” Griffin said Sunday. “We have a wonderful monument here.”