Alexander Grange Honors Hometown Heroes

Two of the families of the five soldiers honored were present at Wednesday's Honoring Hometown Heroes Ceremony in Alexander. All five of the soldiers honored had connections to Downeast Maine. Pictured are the House and Sullivan Families. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

On Wednesday night April 25, the Alexander Grange held a ceremony to honor hometown heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their home and their country. The five soldiers they honored all had connections to this part of Washington County. 

The Grange will be displaying the stones of these five soldiers who will be included in the Summit Project which honors Maine heroes who have paid the ultimate price for their country. Each family is asked to select a stone that means something to their soldier and themselves. As part of the Summit Project, volunteers are given one of the stones of a fallen hero to carry with them through a challenge to help them better understand the sacrifices these heroes made. 

On Wednesday, the Grange in Alexander held a ceremony to honor those heroes. The five heroes honored were Captain Christopher Sullivan, Army Specialist Dustin Harris, Army Sergeant Blair Emery, Army SSG Brandon Silk, and Army Sergeant Joel House. All five of these men had ties to the communities here in Washington County, whether having lived here or having family in the area. They all gave their lives in defense of their country and here at home we remember them.  

Len Hanson gave a brief introduction to all five of the honored heroes and their connection to our communities. Hanson hoped to share more about who they were, more than just about their military service, but their other passions as well. Later this year the stones on display will be part of the Summit Project and given to volunteers to carry. 

The Summit Project asks that volunteers do three things as part of their act. They must learn about the fallen hero, carry the tribute stone of that hero through some physical challenge and finally, after they’ve completed their challenge, they must write to the families of their fallen hero about the event for which they carried the stone and what it meant to them. For more information on the Summit Project you can visit www.thesummitproject.org. 

While some of the stones of our fallen Maine heroes stay here at the summits of our peaks, some have travelled all over the world hiking Kilimanjaro, Everest, endured marathons and marches. These stones honor all heroes from the state of Maine showing their sacrifice will be honored and never forgotten. 

Each of these young men were part of something they believed in and for this they sacrificed themselves, but their memory and importance to our community won’t be forgotten. That’s what the Grange stated in the ceremony on Wednesday night. The Grange hopes to make some sort of permanent display to continually honor our local fallen heroes and honor their sacrifice and memory. 

“These warriors believed in God, country and their mission, but most of all their families. They would do all they could to protect their beliefs and they did so in truly heroic fashion. They are and always will be our Hometown Heroes,”  Len Hanson of the Alexander Grange said. 

The Honor Stones will be on display at the Alexander Grange from now until May 15. Any schools or organizations wishing to see the stones can call Len Hanson at 454-8733.

Pictured are the stones selected by the families that would mean something to the solider and their family. The case was made by Jason Spencer to hold the stones while they are on display at the Alexander Grange. The stones will be on display at the Grange until May 15. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon)