BELFAST — Late brothers Glenn and Basil Hills were honored with a flagpole overlooking Belfast Bay at Harbor Hill July 5 for their service in World War II. The brothers lived at the facility until their deaths earlier this year. Basil died Jan. 27 and Glenn died April 16; both were over age 100.

They are two of five brothers who served in the military. Growing up, the brothers would play pranks on neighbors and motorists near their Belfast home, according to the youngest and only living brother, Carl Hills. Glenn used to collect snakes in sacks. The brothers also used to play pranks on motorists by nailing a purse to the ground and watching people from a distance try to pick it up.

It was a sense of humor that followed them through their lives and into Harbor Hill, where they were known for their positive attitudes and humor, Harbor Hills Recreation Director Deserae MacDonald said.

“They made lasting impressionable relationships with other residents. They made them feel welcome and like it was their home now, too,” she said.

The idea of the flagpole dedication came from the facility’s Resident Council, MacDonald said. The group of about 20 residents wanted to place a flagpole in front of the facility that could be seen from downtown The group thought it would be meaningful to dedicate it to the two Hills brothers for their service.

Basil enlisted in the Belfast National Guard at 16, Carl said. He was sent into the Pacific Theater during World War II, situated in Auckland, New Zealand, in 1942. He lived with shrapnel in his arm and neck from wounds he sustained in the war, earning a Purple Heart.

When he came home it was apparent that he also suffered from psychological issues related to his service, Carl said. Later in his life, Carl and his wife Barbara Hills would take Basil to the military hospital at Togus Medical Center for veterans in Augusta.

Glenn served in the Belfast National Guard, Air National Guard and the United States Army, spending 36 years in the military, according to his obituary. He was not deployed to the war but he was stationed at a southern military base before moving into the local National Guard.

The brothers came from a long line of military men, Carl said. Their oldest brother, Raymond, and second-oldest brother, Richard, served in the military earlier and were deployed in WWII. Richard was killed in the Battle of the Bulge.

Their father was a member of the National Guard, Carl said, and their civilian parents patrolled the city during nighttime blackouts during WWII, keeping watch for enemy aircraft.

At Harbor Hill, every veteran resident is honored with a plaque on their door, MacDonald said. “Other veterans know what (the flagpole) is there for and they feel honored, just as a veteran, that we did this for veterans,” she said.

The flagpole was donated by the Garry Owen Motorcycle Club, and members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Randall Collins Post 3108 put it in the ground, MacDonald said. Harbor Hill employee Derryl McPherson donated an engraved stone that will be placed in front of the flagpole once it arrives.

Joy Asuncion was a family friend of the Hills brothers who participates in many honors and dedication ceremonies for veterans across Waldo County. As a veteran herself, she feels it is her mission to make sure nobody forgets the service and sacrifice veterans have made.

Asuncion thinks it’s important to teach that freedom is not free and many men and women sacrificed for freedoms many Americans enjoy today and those sacrifices shouldn’t be forgotten. She always notices how much it means to all veterans whenever individual veterans are recognized.

She called the flagpole dedication ceremony beautiful and thought it was a great tribute to them. “That’s something that will live on forever there,” she said.

The flagpole is a place where residents can sit and look across the bay and remember the brothers, MacDonald said. It was one of their favorite places to spend time. “It’ll be a place where any person or veteran or family member can go to and look across the bay and remember them,” she said.

Graveside funerals for the brothers will take place Aug. 5, with full military honors. Glenn’s funeral will be first at 10:30 a.m. at the Smart Cemetery in Belfast and Basil’s funeral will take place at noon at a cemetery in the town of Waldo.