An 87-year-old World War II veteran has met his 6-year-old heroine via an article published in the Nov. 22 edition of The Weekly.
While marching with the World War II contingent in the Bangor-Brewer Veterans Day parade on Nov. 12, Robert Treworgy of Calais received a sealed envelope from a young girl who emerged from the crowd in downtown Bangor. Later, upon opening the envelope, Treworgy discovered that it contained a Veterans Day “thank you” card, the first he 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.
A Navy corpsman who was bombed by the Luftwaffe while serving at a British hospital in 1944, Treworgy was thrilled with the card. In The Weekly article he expressed his desire to meet Sophie.
He soon did.
Phone connections made by and with Sophie’s parents — Holly House of Levant and Jeff Lindsey of Carmel — and Treworgy led him to meet his brown-haired heroine at Governor’s Restaurant in Bangor on Sunday, Dec. 2. Accompanied by her mother and her grandmother, Susan Harriman of Levant, 6-year-old Sophie Lindsey shook hands with Treworgy, a retired pharmacist, and then settled onto a chair to enjoy a dinner hosted by him.
Harriman teaches first grade at the Holden Elementary School. After Treworgy’s article ran in The Weekly, she read it to her students and stressed to them that “little things can make somebody’s day special.” Harriman then told her students that “Sophie is my granddaughter.”
Veterans Day is important to Harriman and House, who works at Nicky’s Cruisin’ Diner in Bangor. Holly’s father, Ernie House of Levant, served in Vietnam, and his father, Glenn C. House, “was a Canadian citizen who came to the United States to participate” in World War II by serving in the American military, Harriman said.
And Harriman’s father, Harold Arnold of Holden, “was in the Navy during the Korean War,” Susan said.
“I do a lot for Veterans Day,” she said. “I’m a very patriotic person. I think it’s very important to teach these children to appreciate our veterans.”
“I think it (patriotism) is something important for her to learn,” Holly said, smiling as Sophie happily immersed herself in coloring a picture. “This is the third year in a row that we have done the cards on Veterans Day.”
Sophie passes out five cards each Veterans Day. This year one went to Treworgy and another to a servicewoman marching with a Maine Air National Guard contingent. Because Sophie was not feeling well, Holly drove her to Wal-Mart, where she and Sophie tucked the three remaining cards beneath the wipers of vehicles bearing veterans’ license plates.
Too shy to share her thoughts about meeting Treworgy, Sophie blissfully colored as he shared his excitement about receiving the card. “I’ve been on a patriotic high ever since,” he said, a smile lighting his features.
“I’m so happy to meet these three delightful people,” Treworgy said.