By Brian Swartz
Weekly Staff Editor
A poignant Memorial Day contrast reached The Weekly late last week via Donn Cairns, a Colorado Springs, Colo., resident “formerly of Westbrook [and] Gorham.”
After reading online the “Maine at War” column published in The Weekly on May 23, Cairns contacted us about Delmont Moore, born in Prospect on Sept. 22, 1835. “One day last year, while doing a historical tour of Evergreen Cemetery here, I happened to see a veteran’s marker on a corner of the Civil War section,” Cairns wrote.
“I still don’t know why this particular stone caught my eye, but upon closer inspection, I discovered it was the grave of a Maine boy,” specifically Moore, who had served in Co. I, 1st Maine Cavalry Regiment.
Moore was living in North Berwick when he joined the 1st Maine Cav on Oct. 29, 1861. He saw combat in Virginia and mustered out on Nov. 25, 1864.
Evidently Moore drifted west; “I suppose that, following the war, the gold and silver mines of Colorado sounded better than what Maine had to offer as his name can be found in a census of Silverton, CO in 1880,” Cairns noted.
He planned to take flowers to Moore’s grave on Memorial Day. However, in a follow-up email, Cairns indicated that “since my wife informed me this morning (May 24) that she would be monopolizing my services and movement for the next four days, I took time to visit Delmont Moore’s grave and plant some flowers.”
As Cairns “arrived at the veterans section, a group was leaving the new grave of another comrade in arms. This one died in Afghanistan.”
Cairns is a veteran. “While I dug and planted flowers” at Moore’s grave, “the work crew was busy closing up the [new] grave.”
He understood the 100-plus-year contrast. “Before I left, I stood at attention at both graves and rendered a salute,” Cairns told The Weekly.
“Each and every war is very different, and, while I served in Viet Nam, I just cannot comprehend the conditions under which these two men served,” he wrote. “One survived the battle field, the other did not.
“It seems quite fitting that I should be offering respect on the eve of Memorial Day,” Cairns wrote.
Advised that the June 13 “Maine at War” will focus on the 1st Maine Cavalry, he “may even take it to Evergreen Cemetery and read it to Delmont.”