BANGOR, Maine — When Cole Land Transportation Museum announced plans last summer for a Bangor World War II Memorial to honor the 112 men killed in that war, museum founder Galen Cole had three goals for this fall. He hoped the monument could be built, installed and then dedicated during Veterans Day ceremonies on Nov. 12.
He didn’t say he hoped it would be paid for by the community, so then-Mayor Cary Weston said it for him, telling Cole he was sure that corporate and individual contributions would provide a good portion of the funds needed.
And so they have. Cole said recently that Weston’s efforts had helped bring in enough funds to cover all the costs of the memorial.
“I am forever indebted to Cary Weston for carrying the ball to get the word out to the public and line up pledges and gifts for the memorial,” Cole said.
Bangor Federal Credit Union provided the kick-off donation among corporate gifts, Weston said. Contributions also came in from Hollywood Casino, Hotel and Raceway; Dysart’s, which donated 20 percent of proceeds from its restaurant on Nov. 11; Varney Agency; Rudman and Winchell; Darling’s; Perfect Fit; Cole Land Transportation Museum; Machias Savings Bank; TMATT Tax & Financial; PDQ Door Co. Inc.; Dennis Paper & Food Service; and R.M. Flagg.
Making in-kind contributions were Guernsey Monument; Tozier’s Lawncare; and Freshwater Stone and Brickworks Inc. Individual donations were received from the families of Thomas R. Graffam, J. Herbert Kobritz, Richard B. Jones and Eugene V. Williams; and from the Saucier grandchildren.
Every gift helped, large or small, Cole said, “and all were much appreciated.” The final contribution came in the Saturday before Veterans Day, with a pledge from The Cianbro Companies finishing up what was a low-key fundraising effort. Donors’ names will be permanently inscribed inside the museum.
“Sixty-seven years after the city pledged a permanent memorial for Bangor men killed in World War II,” Cole said, “the promise has been fulfilled with this Bangor World War II Memorial, and I am truly grateful to all those who made this a community project.”
More than 200 people attended the dedication of the memorial on Nov. 12, with Cole Museum volunteers-World War II veterans Henry Stupakewicz and Ralph Goss unveiling the monument.
Cole Museum is closed for the season until May 1. For information, visit www.colemuseum.org or call 207-990-3600, ext. 13.