BANGOR, Maine – It’s the question heard daily at Cole Land Transportation Museum on Perry Road: “Are you still giving out walking sticks to Maine war veterans?”
The answer is an enthusiastic “yes,” especially since the total number of walking sticks distributed to veterans of four war eras from all 16 counties passed 8,500 on June 10, with Vietnam veterans receiving the most walking sticks at 3,542.
World War II veterans who participate in Bangor’s Memorial Day Parade each year also have a red-white-and-blue sticker with the year on it placed on their walking sticks. This year, museum volunteers were on hand before the start of the parade with a new sticker created especially for
veterans of the Korean War, Vietnam War and Global War on Terror who marched or rode in the parade with their walking sticks.
Several hundred veterans turned out for the parade in late May, bringing their sticks to be adorned with the reflective stickers, and museum founder Galen Cole said he hopes that those who weren’t able to take part on Memorial Day will bring their walking sticks to the Fourth of July
Parade and get their 2013 sticker then.
Blue walking sticks were given to Korean War veterans beginning in 2006. Vietnam War walking sticks were created with their own markings in 2007, and walking sticks for Global War on Terror were added in 2009.
As for the new stickers for walking sticks, Cole said that veterans who didn’t get one on Memorial Day are welcome to come early to get one before the Fourth of July Parade, which kicks off at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 4, on Wilson Street in Brewer. Volunteers will be on hand to apply the stickers to walking sticks near the Brewer pool.
Cyr buses will be available to carry veterans who can’t walk the route along Wilson Street in Brewer and down Main Street in Bangor. Buses will bring participating veterans back to the beginning of the parade route after the parade.
Walking sticks for Maine veterans not previously receiving one may be picked up 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
daily at Cole Land Transportation Museum, 405 Perry Road, Bangor. Veterans of the four war eras should bring ID and either their DD 214 discharge paper or other proof of military service.
Information on Cole Land Transportation Museum is available at 207-990-3600, ext. 13, or colemuseum.org. Admission is $7, $5 age 62 and up, free to those age 18 and under.