Wreaths Around Penobscot
The Penobscot Tombstone Project
For a number of years now, many people have been donating to the Wreaths Across America fund to help distribute hundreds of thousands of wreathes to the
graves of Veteran at the Arlington National Cemetery as well as another 1400 or more larger cemeteries across the U.S.A. Many people gather in the parking lots
and roadsides of local towns and cities to welcome the convoy of tractor trailer trucks, one after another with Police, Fire and Ambulance escorts as they pass
through on their way to Arlington Virginia. As all the excitement builds sitting by the roadside in anticipation, waiting, waiting, waiting for the convoy to pass by,
people waving as the parade files past, then slowly, quietly, its done for another year. Back to our lives of 9 to 5 , Christmas Shopping, and Basketball Season.
As we get back into our cars and trucks parked along the roadside and head for home, we catch a glimpse of a local cemetery. tucked off the beaten path of every
day travel, under the limbs of the large oak trees on a nearby hillside. The thoughts of the Wreathes across America convoy still fresh in my mind, I scan my vision
across the Cemetery and notice that something is missing. Missing from the scattered family lots with a few wind tattered American flags. There are no Wreathes.
Dozens of trucks filled with wreathes and hunderds of people just passed by a local Cemetery, yet not one person paused for a moment to place a wreath on a
Veteran's grave within view of the roadside. Then I think , what about all the hidden Cemeteries on the back country roads of local communities which are out of
site, out of mind of the general public. Are these Veteran's not worthy of the celebrations given to the other fourteen-hundred or so Cemeteries located across the
United States ? Penobscot itself has two Municipal and aproximately 68 private family Cemeteries, many of which are located off in the overgrown fields and back
wood roads of town which few people even know exist.
Scattered around these 68 Cemeteries are aproximately 120 Veteran's grave's. There are many in the Hillside and Bay view Cemeteries, but there are also many
more hidden from site with fallen and broken headstones. The only visitors to these sites are the Bridge's family who quietly place flags on Veteran's graves in the
weeks before Memorial Day, and generally never to be seen again until the following year. Overgrown, leaf scattered, with crumbling stones, these lots will soon be
forgotten if not taken care of.
Former Selectman Stanley Shorey of North Penobscot clears the leaves from the graves of
CPL. George N. Mixer , U.S. Marine Corps. Veteran, WW II. and his wife at a cemetery on
the Dunbar Road, Rt. 199, West Penobscot. Stan and Glen Ashe delivered 108
" Wreaths Around Penobscot " to many , but unfortunately not all of the 68 community cemeteries
with the hope that others will join in and help with the remaining Lots.
With that thought in mind, i decided to call for the help of Karen Wardwell from Orland who makes Christmas Wreathes to supplement income to pay for family Christmas Presents.
Since the Christmas Wreath making season had come to an end, I enlisted her reluctant help into making another 108 additional wreathes for placement of the Veteran's graves in Penobscot.
( she is such a sweet sister ) . With the help of Stanley Shorey, he and I place the 108 " Wreaths Around Penobscot" that Karen and my neice Stormy made. Hopefully next year I can
enlist the help of community members and the 8th grade class in making the wreathes as a way to raise funds for their annual end of the year class trip.
The Penobscot Tombstone Project