BANGOR — More than a dozen Maine Troop Greeters turned out Saturday to receive an award for their service welcoming military personnel through Bangor International Airport from the Maine State Organization, Daughters of the American Revolution, during its fall meeting at the Four Points Sheraton.
“It’s not us, it’s the troops,” emphasized a group representative as its members and two greeter dogs posed for a photograph with State Regent Virginia Spiller, a member of Old York Chapter, DAR.
But Spiller, assisted by Honorary State Regent Donna Hoffmann of Bucksport, a member of Ramassoc Chapter, made clear that the patriotic organization was grateful to the the volunteers who turn out at all hours of the day and night and have welcomed more than 1.25 million troops through BIA since 2003. Troop greeters in attendance included both civilians and military veterans from as far back as World War II.
Chaplain Soniar Mallar of Bangor, a member of Frances Dighton Williams Chapter, led DAR members and troop greeters in a service of remembrance for those lost in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2011. Hostess chapters Ramassoc, Frances Dighton Williams, Esther Eayres in Orono and Penobscot Expedition in Searsport presented each person attending with a Maine-grown balsam fir seedling to plant in memory of “those who have died to keep our country free.”
A simple white stephanotis plant stood in front of the podium during the ceremony. After the playing of taps, members of the Bangor Fire Department and the Base Honor Guard marched slowly to retire the colors, carrying the U.S. flag and the Maine state flag.
DAR members said afterward that the ceremony of remembrance was a meaningful way to end their busy weekend, which included presentations by President General Merry Ann Wright of New York, elected leader of the 170,000-member National Society, DAR; and Arkansas State Regent Susan Thompson.
Wright encouraged the representatives of Maine’s nearly 1,000 DAR members to continue their work in furthering the organization’s objectives of American heritage, education and patriotic service. Maine Daughters gather genealogical records, recognize high school Good Citizens and publicize Constitution Week in schools and libraries, work on conservation projects, volunteer in veterans hospitals and clinics and present U.S. flags to naturalized citizens, among other activities.
State Regent Spiller carried her state project theme of conservation throughout the weekend’s activities, recognizing those who had made an extra effort to help with the fall meeting with the gift of an energy-efficient light bulb.
Spiller also presented the Maine Troop Greeters with a check from the state DAR to help them purchase candy and other goodies for distribution to the troops who come through BIA on their way to the Middle East, or returning home.
Tax-deductible donations to help the Maine Troop Greeters may be sent to Maine Troop Greeters, BIA, 287 Godfrey Blvd., Box 6, Bangor, ME 04401. For information on the Daughters of the American Revolution, visit http://www.dar.org. Roxanne Moore Saucier is a member of the Maine DAR.