Dear UMPI Community,
On November 11th, 1919, the United States first celebrated Armistice Day, signifying the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Armistice Day was intended both to honor all of those who served this great nation, often protecting democracy and freedom far across the world, and to signify the hope that the Great War, as it was known, would perhaps be the last of its kind. That truly is what my grandfather, Raymond Morse Colton, a veteran of that War, hoped and believed, having returned from his service in the Army. Over one hundred years later, we know only too well that the debt of gratitude we owe to our veterans stretches across generations of those who have answered the call to serve and to protect the vision and promise of a nation that John Winthrop described in 1630 as “a city upon a hill” which “the eyes of all people” would be upon. Those words may be his most famous, but perhaps more importantly Winthrop went on to say that to provide for our posterity, “we must be knit together as one…We must delight in each other; make others’ conditions our own; rejoice together, mourn together, labor and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work, as members of the same body.”
Each Veteran’s Day we celebrate generations for their dedication and sacrifices toward making the conditions of their brothers and sisters their own. And we celebrate on this specific day the debt of gratitude that we owe to all veterans every day. Indeed, we honor their courage, their achievements, their patriotism, and their sacrifice, not only as heroes of this nation’s past, but as hope for its future.
You can read more about Veterans Day here. And you can watch, live-stream, the 69th annual National Veterans Day Observance, beginning at 11 AM on Friday. I also encourage you to visit the digital Veterans Legacy Memorial. Supporting and linked to the VA national cemeteries across the nation, it provides tributes, images, and features recognizing events and individuals. Within our region, the annual Veterans Day Ceremony located at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at 37 Lombard Road in Caribou begins at 1 PM on Friday. It includes a keynote speech from US Senator Susan Collins, Honor Guard furnished by Loring Job Corps, and a 21 Gun Salute provided by the American Legion Post 147 of Madawaska.