Thanks for supporting wreath project
To the Editor:
I can't begin to thank all the people who supported my quest of placing a wreath on as many cemetaries and war memorials as I could. These wreaths that can be seen hanging at the front of several cemetaries are to honor all the veterans in these cemetaries. The support and donations were unbelievable and there are so many people to thank.
The list of thanks begins with the Dixfield Police Chief Richard Pickett, for allowing me to hold a fundraiser on main street, my sisters, Maggie and Theresa and brothers-in-law Bobby and Bummy for all their help. Many thanks to the people who donated as they passed by.
Also huge thank you to the Rumford Eagles and the American Legion posts of Rumford and Dixfield, and the VFW for their generous contributions. The Friday Nite Jammers as well, without these donations this would not have happened. I would like to thank Mark and Laurie MaKenna, Laurie worked above and beyond to supply the wreathes that were placed throughout the area.
But the biggest thank you of all goes to my wife, Brenda, for being patient and allowing me to focus my time and energy on this cause.
I also want to thank Joe Roberts, former commander of the Civil Air Patrol, it's Joe that inspired me to start this annual event. Joe has for the past years been a factor for bringing Wreathes Across America to the Rumford area and placing wreathes on the memorial at the end of Congress Street and at the St John's Cemetary. Joe is now in Florida and due to his declining health he stepped down from his post and was forced to move to a warmer climate. I have recently spoke with Joe and told him that I had recently placed the five wreaths on the memorial where he had do so and I did this as much for him as for the veterans the memorial honors.
Over the past three weekends, I have driven almost 500 miles placing 107 wreaths on cemetaries and memorials across the River Valley and way beyond. I am overwhelmed at how this project has grown in just two years. Last year, I placed about 75 and set a goal of 100 for this year, and through the generousity of the people Iwas able to go beyond my goal, which I had my doubts about at first.
I can only hope in years to come this continues and communities continue where I have stopped and that some day there will be a wreath on 99.9% of all Maine's cemetaries honoring our veterans laid to rest.
In closing, never forget how we got the freedoms we have, let's all keep the honor of all our veterans, past and present, if you should know a veteran still among us, please let them know how much we all appreciate them.
I can't tell you just how much of an honor it is to do this, I have done a lot of driving and spent a lot of time, but it was worth every minute and every mile.
Robert "Bub" Desroches