Financial woes in Millinocket threaten annual salute to late vets

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Tough financial times over the years has left the town of Millinocket pursuing many avenues to cut costs. Yet recently one decision made by town leaders caused quite an uproar, as they decided to eliminate funding to place small flags on the graves of veterans.

Veterans groups in Millinocket take on the project each Memorial Day weekend at the town cemetery. Organizers say they lay hundreds of flags on graves and in years past Millinocket has paid for all of them.

However at times this year it looked like that would not be the case. Town officials say no money was set aside for the flags when leaders were putting together their budget last year. Now after getting a lot of negative feedback from the public officials have passed some funding for the project.

The flags mostly get placed at the cemetery by school children in Millinocket over the Memorial Day weekend. The town cemetery is the final resting place to about 1,200 veterans some of whom served in conflicts dating back to World War I.

Leaders of several veterans groups say in light of the funding problem many other organizations did what they could to help secure flags.

"We got with the boy scouts and they raised $330 in four days..they did a wonderful job," said Michael Anderson, who is the commander for Millinocket's post of the American Foreign Legion, "The Knights of Columbus said they'd buy a gross of flags and then the town called us and said they're going to make up the the community's working together on it."

Millinocket's town council voted to pass some funding for the project at its meeting on Thursday. Veterans groups say they will still be looking to get as many flags as they can before Memorial Day.

If you would like to help with their efforts, you can contact the Millinocket post of the American Foreign Legion at (207)723-8088.


To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment