Searsport’s missing World War II monument
On Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 — 71 years after the attack on Pearl Harbor — the town of Searsport begins its mission to replace its lost, but now found, World War II monument.
In 1973, Searsport town officials removed its aging wooden World War II Memorial Honor Roll that had sat on Main Street next to the Methodist Church since the early 50’s. It was replaced with a large memorial stone, dedicated to the men and women from Searsport who served in all wars.
In the summer of 2011, Searsport’s Official Town Historian, Charlene Knox Farris, was approached by the nephew of one of the Searsport WWII veteran's whose name appeared on the original Honor Roll. He wondered why the original WWII Honor Roll had never been replaced.
Farris has located the original crumbling wooden Honor Roll, and, from it, has created a new list of the original 173 names that were honored on the monument. On Friday, Dec. 7, Farris, supported by Town Manager James Gillway and the Searsport Selectmen, is leading an effort to raise money to create a replica of the original Honor Roll.
The new 30 by 36, 100 pound memorial will be cast in bronze and will display all 173 names of Searsport’s WWII veterans. Once complete, the monument will be on permanent display on the upstairs meeting room wall of Union Hall.
The estimated cost of the new WWII bronze monument is $3,000. The Searsport Historical Society has offered to pay half of the cost. The town warrant in March, 2013, will carry an item asking for the town to fund up to $1,500.
On ‘Pearl Harbor Day,’ Friday, Dec. 7, starting at 10 a.m., Farris will have a table set up inside Tozier’s Family Variety on Main Street in Searsport where people may see a list of the 173 names that appear on the original Honor Roll. She is hoping to find out how many of the veterans on the list are still living, and also to receive private donations to help create the Memorial, thus reducing the cost to the town’s tax payers.
The new World War II Honor Roll Memorial will be dedicated on July 3, 2013, at the opening of the Searsport Historical Society’s annual variety show.