HAMPDEN, Maine — The groundswell of patriotism sweeping the nation provides a timely backdrop to the Hampden Flag Project conceived by veterans Frank Jewell, Richard Newcomb and Bud Tribou of Hampden. Each spring the Veterans of Foreign Wars members and auxiliary prepare the flags for display. Jewell died before the unveiling of the project’s first flags four years ago, and his death provides a special motivation for other VFW members.
This year a new member of the Hampden community, Katahdin Trust Co., came forward to serve as sponsor of the Hampden Flag Project.
“Because of Katahdin Trust Co.’s commitment to the Flag Project and to our community, we will be able to make much-needed improvements while replacing worn-out flags and hardware,” said VFW member Craig Snow. The flags are mounted along Main Road and Western Avenue, and will be displayed from mid-May through Veterans Day in November. “The flags not only beautify the community, but reflect our collective sense of patriotism,” Snow said.
Danelle Weston, Katahdin Trust Co. regional vice president in the Bangor area, said, “In our role as an independent community bank, we believe in the spirit of community and the quality of life we share. There is no better way of celebrating that quality of life than by recognizing the contribution of our nation’s military and by honoring those who have served the cause of freedom here at home and around the world, those whose bravery and courage provided the freedoms we enjoy each day,” she added. “We are not only pleased to sponsor the Flag Project; we are privileged to do so.”
In addition to flying the flags along the main roads of Hampden, VFW members place flags on veterans’ graves before Memorial Day. VFW officials have noted that this endeavor involves walking along uneven ground, a difficult task for many aging veterans. Volunteers willing to assist in this endeavor or volunteer for other VFW projects may offer their services or obtain information by contacting Ray Lupo, VFW post commander, at 942-8486 or 862-2553.