Vets' Memorial Committee gets under way
Lincolnville — Ideas were shared and some preliminary plans made for a new veterans' memorial park at the first meeting of the Veterans' Memorial Committee Wednesday, Aug. 6.
Meeting at the Lincolnville Boat Club, a group consisting of committee chairman Rosey Gerry, Sandy Delano, Cindy Dunham, Richard Glock, Donny Heald and Sandy Lyle, several of whom represented more than one stakeholder group, discussed what a new memorial might look like, and the best way to construct it. The park would be sited on the former Millington property, now owned by the town, just down from the library on Main Street.
In presentations in recent months to the Board of Selectmen, Gerry has stressed that, apart from use of the land, the town will incur no expense for the new memorial, as construction and upkeep will be paid for from private donations and in-kind contributions.
Gerry said he would like to see a driveway and two parking spaces, one of them a handicapped space, so people could pull off the road and read the names on the memorials, or just sit and reflect. The site will also be wheelchair-accessible. He proposed moving the two existing veterans' memorials near Petunia Pump, which are currently located on a corner of a private landowner's property. Between them, the two memorials contain the names of Lincolnville residents who have served in the military in all American wars since the Revolution. There will also be a third memorial for new names.
Lyle noted that the memorials had never had a “legitimate, permanent home,” and it was time they had one.
The group walked from the Boat Club to the prospective site of the new memorial, where it was agreed fill would be added to raise the grade to the level of the abutting library property. Committee members also signed onto the idea of extending the sidewalk planned to go along Main Street by the library. There was discussion of continuing the sidewalk around the corner of Norton Pond Road to connect with the Breezemere Park pathway. Committee members suggested having a backdrop of large chunks of stone behind the memorials and keeping the semi-circular shape of the current grassy area.
The committee agreed to aim for a dedication date of Memorial Day 2015.
Gerry said he would talk with the Maine Department of Transportation (DOT) about requirements for the proposed driveway and parking spaces, and he and Heald agreed to work together to obtain an in-kind donation of fill.
Other donations, both cash and in-kind, are needed and welcomed. To make a contribution, contact Gerry at 975-5432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Research also needs to be done to find the names of Lincolnville residents who served in Vietnam that are not currently on the memorial, Gerry said.
Gerry emphasized that plans for the memorial park are not final, and ideas from all community members are welcome. “This is not just for the good old boys or good old girls. I want this to be a community project,” he said.
The date of the next meeting is to be decided. To attend, contact Gerry.
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.