I want to share with you updates on some of the events that I participated in this past weekend.

‘Shoot Like a Girl’

On May 27, Tobin Malone, executive director of the Knox Museum and retired Lt. Col. Peter Ogden, chairman of the board, welcomed a standing room-only audience to this presentation. It was an honor to meet retired Maj. Mary Jennings (MJ) Hegar, a U.S. Air Force veteran and now author.

Maj. Hegar took us on a journey through her experiences during a life-changing combat mission in Afghanistan (see my column in the May 11 issue) and responded to many questions from the audience, facilitated by retired Lt. Col. Adria Horn, director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services.

After her presentation, Maj. Hegar signed copies of her new book, “Shoot Like a Girl: One Woman’s Dramatic Fight in Afghanistan and on the Home Front,” that will soon be a major motion picture with Angelina Jolie reported to be playing MJ.  For more information on Maj. Hegar, please visit her website at www.mjhegar.com

Memorial Day service

On Sunday, May 28, a Memorial Day Service was held at Faith Temple Church in Belfast.  It was a beautiful service held in memory of the men and women who served in our armed forces of the United States and paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms.

The service opened with the Belfast Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3108 color guard presentation of our national colors led by Al Baker, bagpiper from the Bangor Anah Shriners.  I led the service in the Pledge of Allegiance and U.S. Army veteran Holly Parker sang our national anthem.

A POW/MIA Honor Table/Chair was highlighted with an explanation of the importance of the table/chair and all the items on the table.  Next, we held a moment of silence to remember all those who have not returned home yet and for their families still hoping for answers about their loved ones.

World War II Veteran Carmine A. Pecorelli shared what honor and gratitude meant to him, Sherry Horton sang “America the Beautiful,” Bagpiper Al Baker played “Amazing Grace” and our worship team, led by Jeff Davis, performed several worship and patriotic songs.

Senior Pastor Michael Horton’s message was “Jesus – No Greater Love”: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  The service closed with “Taps” and retirement of our national colors led by the VFW Color Guard and Bagpiper Al Baker.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a beautiful Memorial Day tribute to honor and remember the men and women who sacrificed for our freedoms.  To view more about this Memorial Day Service, photos, and additional information about Faith Temple Church, please visit our website at faithtemplechurch.org and like our Facebook page at Faith Temple Church.

Belfast parade

It was heartwarming to see so many families with their children who came out to watch the Belfast Memorial Day Parade May 29 and thank our veterans for their service.  There was one moment for me that I will always remember — a woman who got out of her car and stood with her hand over her heart and with tears in her eyes thanked all of us for our service.

Joy Asuncion is a retired 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, an Honor Flight Maine Board Member, a Maine Troop Greeter and Maine State Ambassador for the Women in Military Service For America Memorial.  You can reach Joy at joyasuncion@roadrunner.com or 930-5640.