Legion to honor service members with Blue Star banners

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YARMOUTH — A local American Legion post wants to honor active service members in the area with a Blue Star Banner program.

Anderson-Mayberry Post 91 is one of many posts to adopt the program, and its members plan to present the banners to service families in Cumberland, North Yarmouth and Yarmouth in a ceremony on Pearl Harbor Day, Dec. 7. The event will be open to the public and held at the post headquarters, the Log Cabin at 196 Main St., at 7:30 p.m.

People with a family member on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines or Navy are asked to contact Bert Kendall, Post 91 adjutant, at bmtkendall@aol.com or 829-8184. He can also be reached by mail at 26 Glenview Road, Cumberland, 04021.

The post would like to hear from families by Nov. 29 to have enough banners ready for the ceremony. But it will continue to seek names of service members after that point to be recognized with banners at a later time.

As of Monday the post had heard from eight families, Kendall said.

“We hope to get a dozen or so,” he noted. “One family has three active service members, so we have to order a special flag with three stars on it.”

The post has noted that while the banners were popular to display during World War I and World War II, enthusiasm for them dwindled during the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Kendall, a Vietnam veteran, said that “nowadays, regardless of people’s politics, they do salute the service men and women, which is good. Because those young kids make no decisions, and they just have to go where they’re told. That, everyone appreciates.”

Alex Lear can be reached at 373-9060 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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.