WINDSOR — On a day that countless Americans were focusing on the sacrifices of the nearly 3,000 victims and the families they left behind 20 years ago, Windsor additionally took the opportunity to honor another group of Americans.
The lives and sacrifices of local veterans were honored Saturday when Windsor held a formal dedication ceremony for its new Veteran’s Memorial Monument, off the corner of Route 32 and Reed Road.
The monument was completed last November, however due to COVID-19 restrictions the town was unable to hold a formal dedication.
Talks of building the monument began in 2017, when the Board of Selectmen voted to start fundraising for a monument to honor Windsor residents who enlisted to join the armed forces.
Windsor Cemetery Sexton Joyce Perry said multiple town organizations were involved in fundraising and making the project happen. In addition to the selectmen, the Cemetery Board Committee, the Windsor Veterans Memorial Board committee, and a fundraising committee all worked to make the monument a reality.
Perry said it had been difficult finding a date in which everyone was available for the ceremony, as many functions were happening at the same time. Everyone was able to agree on Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, as they felt it was an appropriate date.
The dedication was opened by Town Manager Theresa Haskell and featured a keynote address by Debra Couture, commander of the American Legion Department of Maine. The American Legion Post 4 Honor Guard presented the colors, Susan Worcester sang the national anthem, and Pastor Brandon Dyer of the Windsor Christian Fellowship gave an invocation.
After Couture’s speech, Dwight Tibbetts performed “God Bless the USA” and Susan Worcester sang “This Land is your Land” with guests joining in. The ceremony closed out with a benediction from Steve Ball, and the playing of taps by Carson Appel.
Perry said the monument itself contains names of local veterans dating all the way back to the Civil War, which is when the town formally became Windsor.
“The town had several different names before that,” she said. ‘So we started with the Civil War, and the names on the wall are all the way from then up until today.”
About 10 additional names were added via donation, and these include veterans who had lived in Windsor for several years, but did not enlist from Windsor. Pavers were also available for purchase during the event, with proceeds going toward new additions to the monument.
Through numerous fundraisers, including pie sales at Hussey’s General Store, silent auctions, flea markets, lawn sales, concerts by The Downeast Brass Quintet, anonymous donations, and the selling of pavers for the monument, more than $54,000 has been raised for the project so far.
While the amount raised covers the monument itself, which cost roughly $42,000, Perry said the town continues to fundraise in order to complete the site. Future additions include a 3-foot circular wall behind the monument, new lighting, and landscaping work.
“We’re very fortunate,” said Perry. “All of this has been such a huge undertaking, but our town’s residents have been really supportive.”