Veterans honored in Wiscasset

Posted:  Sunday, November 12, 2017 - 8:45am

Wiscasset’s Deb Ethier wiped back a tear Saturday as Wiscasset Church of the Nazarene co-pastor Wally Staples read the lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” at American Legion Post 54’s Veteran’s Day service, held in the wind and the cold and sun at the veterans wall on the Wiscasset municipal building lawn.

Ethier’s husband, Army veteran Arthur Ethier, died Sept. 29. “He liked that song,” she said in an interview.

“This is hard for me being here today,” said Ethier. But she came to show support for her husband and other veterans, she said.

Post 54’s Auxiliary secretary-treasurer Diane Munsey wasn’t sure she was ready to take part in the ceremony like she and husband Donald Munsey, Post 54 member and Korean War veteran, always did together. He died Oct. 15.

But with the support of family and friends including her Legion friends, the Dresden woman helped in the wreath-layings at the wall Saturday.

“I couldn’t let him down,” she said.

Along with cards and letters following the loss of her husband, Munsey received a Legislative memorial certificate honoring him about a week after his death. State Rep. Jeff Pierce, R - Dresden, brought it to her home.

Gail Andretta attended Saturday’s observance with her granddaughter, Wiscasset Elementary School first grader Adrianna Farrell. Andretta, whose father Ernest Grover Jr. was a veteran, thought it would be good for Farrell as a Girl Scout to see the ceremony.

Legion members noted the new names on the wall and adjacent paving stones. Added to the wall, under the global war on terror, were Joseph Lucas, who Legion member Neil Page said was killed in action 40 miles north of Baghdad Dec. 15, 2005; Zachary Callan, Joshua Page, Rupert Flood and Shane Hill; under Grenada-Lebanon, Morgan Flood and Patricia Hill; and under Vietnam, David Grover, John Rafter, James Quinnam and Glen Lewis. New stones bore the names of Clifford Hendricks, Jennifer Page, Humberto Noriega Jr. and Case Rafter.

Page explained later, the wall is for veterans who had Wiscasset as their town of record when they entered the service; the town pays the cost to add the names, he said. The paving stones, for other Wiscasset veterans, cost about $200, Page said. Anyone interested in either can contact him at 882-1255 or Cmdr. Bill Cossette Jr. at 882-4717, or leave contact information at the town clerk’s office, Page said.

Cheryl Kaplan said she was very proud her son Zachary Callan’s name now appears on the wall. She said Callan retired three years ago from the Air Force and now works in satellite communications, using what he learned in the service, she said before the ceremony.

Addressing the gathering, Staples encouraged attendees to visit a veteran at the Togus facility in Augusta. “It’s something that we can do that just takes our time.”