FORT KENT, Maine — For nine decades, members of the Martin-Klein American Legion Post 133 have worked to honor their fallen comrades in the Fort Kent area.
The group is celebrating its 90th anniversary with an open house, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at the post’s hall at 411 West Main St.
“Ever since Memorial Day of 1923, post members have been marching to cemeteries to decorate the graves of our fallen every year,” Duane Belanger, post commander, said. “From a civic point of view, we do this to recognize those who served and defended our freedoms.”
By honoring the fallen veterans, Belanger said post members also hope to demonstrate to the youth of the area the sacrifices that have been made over the years defending this country.
Marking veterans’ graves with flags is also a state law, Belanger pointed out.
Among the post’s projects tied in with the 90th anniversary is the purchasing of special flag-holders for veterans’ graves.
“It can be very easy for our guys to miss some of the graves,” Belanger said. “It would be a much easier goal to mark every grave if the flag-holders are there.”
Sample flag holders will be on display during Sunday’s open house and donations are being accepted to fund the project.
Post 133 marks 571 graves in the greater Fort Kent area, Belanger said, going back to veterans who served in the Civil War.
In addition, post members provide full honor guards and firing squads for military funerals in the area, he said.
“These are services we have been providing since the early 1920s,” Belanger said.
Sunday’s open house will feature World War I items on loan from the Fort Kent Historical Society and a free lunch will be served.