Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to honor those who gave their lives in defense of their country.
It is also a time to pause and remember that in addition to those who died in wars long ago, it is an opportunity to honor all who have served our country in the past as well as those who continue to serve today.
And while we are not at war this day, men and women from all corners of Maine and all parts of the nation are in uniform, prepared to defend what others have died for: A way of life that none other can surpass.
In keeping with the spirit of this holiday, congratulations are extended to World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient Galen Cole of Bangor, who will be honored with the Bangor Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Eagle Award.
The award will be presented to Cole during the bureau’s sixth annual tourism awards banquet, beginning with a social hour and silent auction at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at Cole Land Transportation Museum, 45 Perry Road, in Bangor.
U.S. Rep. John Baldacci will be the keynote speaker for the event, which is open to the public.
According to CVB member Cindi Cavanaugh, seating for the banquet is limited, but some tickets, at $25 per person, are still available.
Reservations may be made by calling the CVB office at 947-5205.
The CVB Eagle Award is presented to individuals or organizations with significant achievements in our area through contributions of time, effort and talents.
In addition to contributions to the community, state and region as a businessman, Cole founded the Cole Land Transportation Museum, which is also home to Maine’s only World War II Memorial and is a major attraction for tourists as well as residents.
According to the CVB, the Cole Museum, which documents and celebrates the transportation history of Maine, honors our state’s transportation pioneers and shares Maine’s transportation history with the next generation.
Cole is also widely recognized for organizing the tremendously successful 1995 Greater Bangor Labor Day weekend parade to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II, in which retired Gen. William Westmoreland served as grand marshal.
The celebration also included the 50th anniversary reunion of Cole’s U. S. Army 5th Armored Division Association and the outstanding Eastern Maine Medical Center Follies Salute to USO Show.
Cole joins the list of previous CVB Eagle Award winners that includes the SkillsUSA VICA Conference, the Maine Principals’ Association for bringing Eastern Maine Basketball Tournaments to Bangor, the Anah Temple for the Northeast Shrine Convention, Bangor Parks and Recreation and the Maine Shakespeare Festival/Penobscot Theatre Co.
Peter Daigle and John Quirk Sr. have also received individual awards.
For information about this event, the Eagle Award, or the CVB, call Heather McCarthy at 947-5205.
John Goodness writes that the Brewer High School Class of 1951 is preparing for its 50th reunion on Saturday, Aug. 11. However, the committee has been unable to contact the following people and hopes readers may be able to supply updated information about the “missing” BHS alumni.
BHS ’51 is seeking Robert Atwood, Sandra Bowers Adams, Thelma Dunham Alward, Helen Clark Stevens, Janice Coombs White and Marilyn White Simon.
Also “among the missing” are Ola Morrison Seger, Mary Ellen Reid Michaud, Eleanor Lawson Eldridge, Gilbert Lewis and Elizabeth McLaughlin Struble. Information is also not available for Barbara Robertson O’Connor, Everett Young or Philip Cunningham.
Anyone with information about these individuals is asked to call Goodness at 989-7582 or Harry and Shirley Estes at 989-3006. You can also write Goodness at 13 School St., Brewer 04412.
Sarepta Nason of Bangor doesn’t know who they are, but she is grateful they were there.
While out shopping a while ago, Nason fell and broke her wrist.
As she explained it, “two good Samaritans witnessed my plight, and helped me to my feet.”
“One of them put me in my car and drove me to the hospital so that I could receive immediate medical attention. He then drove my car to my residence while I was hospitalized. It is indeed refreshing to know that there are good Samaritans in this world,” she added.
“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to the two gentlemen who came to my aid in my hour of need.”
Andy Moores, Race 2001 director for the Northern Maine Soap Box Derby, and members of his committee thank Houlton Farms Dairy for placing information about the Northern Maine Soap Box Derby on the side panels of milk products the company sells throughout the northern half of Maine.
“We appreciate this gesture,” Moores wrote in recognition of “the help that Houlton Farms Dairy has provided us.”
The Northern Maine Soap Box Derby will be Saturday, June 23, on Derby Hill in Houlton’s Community Park. Last year, the Northern Maine Soap Box Derby earned the distinction of being the world’s largest Soap Box Derby race and the committee hopes to repeat that feat this year.
Joni Averill, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.