Robert Treworgy, an 87-year-old Navy veteran from Calais, wants to thank the little girl who stepped from the crowd during the Veterans Day parade held Nov. 12 in Bangor and handed him a sealed envelope.
Busy marching with other World War II veterans when the little girl gave him the envelope, Treworgy did not open it until later. Inside was a Veterans Day “thank you” card, the first that Treworgy had ever seen.
Published by American Greeting, the card featured a patriotic cover and a “Happy Veterans Day” greeting on page 3. Printed in a child’s handwriting beneath this greeting was the phrase, “Thank you! From Sophie”; neatly printed — probably by an adult — lower on the page was the notation, “From Sophie age 6.”
And Sophie, her surname unknown, drew a huge smiley face on page 2.
“I’ve been on a patriotic high ever since” opening the card, Treworgy said later on Nov. 12.
A graduate of Hallowell High School, Treworgy joined the Navy when his draft notice arrived. He served three years as a Navy corpsman and spent time at a Navy hospital in Falmouth, England during the D-Day invasion. Treworgy remembers helping treat wounded soldiers returning from the Normandy beaches.
The occasional German bomb fell near the hospital, too.
Later a pharmaceutical sales rep, Treworgy moved to Calais with his wife, Barbara, in 1954 and purchased the local Rexall pharmacy a few years later. “I never saw a greeting card for Veterans Day, and I owned that pharmacy for 35 years,” he said.
Tuesday, Nov. 12 marked the third time that Treworgy had marched in Bangor’s Veterans Day parade. “It was a huge parade, with five bands,” he said, and the aging World War II veterans — Treworgy estimated their “walking” number at 18, plus many others riding in buses — stepped off first on Wilson Street in Brewer.
“There were big crowds everywhere, over in Brewer, coming down that long [Wilson Street] hill,” he recalled.
Marchers crossed the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge and turned right onto Main Street in Bangor. “Coming down Main Street, it was packed,” said Treworgy, still awestruck by the large crowds. “‘Thank you! Thank you!’ people were saying.
“The patriotism I saw in the crowds made me feel good,” he said. “The children were waving. One group must’ve had a dozen flags; the children were waving smaller ones.”
The World War II veterans marched behind a banner identifying their historical status. Treworgy marched on the far left of the front line; Galen Cole marched on the line’s far right and “kept an eye on us to try to keep us in step,” Treworgy said.
The parade stopped for Veterans Day observances at the West Market Square reviewing stand. Then, as the World War II veterans resumed marching through “the huge crowds” in downtown Bangor, “all of a sudden I looked to my left, and this little girl with brown hair didn’t take any more than three or four steps, and she handed me that,” Treworgy said, pointing to the Veterans Day card.
“She didn’t say a word,” he remembered. “I looked back, and I waved to the parents.
“I was only the only one (among the World War II veterans) who got a card,” he said.
Treworgy soon opened the card and read it. The memory caused him to blink back a few tears; “to think that she (Sophie) went to all this effort to give a card to a veteran, it’s wonderful what she did,” he said.
“I want to find Sophie and tell her ‘thank you,’” Treworgy said.