Final stones installed at Cumberland veterans monument

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CUMBERLAND — The veterans monument at Moss Side Cemetery is now two stones larger.

The original 4-by-8-foot center stone, erected last year, recognizes “all Cumberland residents who have served our country in times of war and peace.” Last week, two additional India black granite stones were installed beside the original.

Both sides of the two new stones and the back of the center stone have the space to be inscribed with names of veterans dating back to the Civil War. The town has collected about 625 so far, and the stones have room for 1,400.

While the monument was originally intended to include names dating to the Revolutionary War, Cumberland at that time was part of North Yarmouth, and it is difficult to determine which soldiers actually came from what is now Cumberland, Town Manager Bill Shane said Monday.

“If we (have) the ability to research and try to gain actual Cumberland residents in the future, I think what we’ll try to do is add another section, maybe just for the Revolutionary War,” Shane said.

To date, no taxpayer money has been spent on the monument, Shane said. Citizen donations have provided nearly $40,000 of the total $60,000 expense. The Town Council has fronted money for the engraving of the names on the stones so that a Memorial Day celebration can take place at the monument on May 28, 2012.

Ultimately, “it would be great if it could be all local funds, versus tax dollars,” Shane said.

The names are expected to be listed in alphabetical order, including information about branch of service and conflict. Updates to the monument, with new names, will likely occur every five or 10 years.

“We hope people will come and look at it and recognize those citizens that have served,” Shane said. “Because this isn’t a memorial; this is a recognition monument, so it’s a little bit different. Basically if you’ve served in a war or in peacetime, we want to recognize your service. If you call Cumberland your home, we want you on that monument.”

People interested in making a donation can contact Shane or Executive Assistant Brenda Moore at 829-2205.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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The final two stones of a veterans monument were recently installed at Moss Side Cemetery in Cumberland.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.