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Cumberland seeks donations to complete veterans monument

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Cumberland seeks donations to complete veterans monument

CUMBERLAND — After celebrating completion of the first phase of its veterans monument in May, the town hopes to raise enough money to finish the project in time for Memorial Day 2011.

The 4-by-8-foot stone, which currently stands in Moss Side Cemetery on Main Street, recognizes “all Cumberland residents who have served our country in times of war and peace.” Symbols of the various branches of service line the black marble surface.

The next phase would add two similar stones, produced by Collette Monuments of Lewiston. On the front and back of those stones will be the names and branches of service, and the conflicts in which they served, of people who have lived in Cumberland or had a connection to the town.

The town has so far gathered more than 600 names, dating back to the American Revolution.

“I think the rule of thumb is going to be, if you consider Cumberland your home and you want to be part of this, then we will definitely consider your application to be on the wall,” Town Manager Bill Shane said last week, noting that applicants must show some kind of proof of service, such as military records or photographs.

Shane, who expects the finished monument to have capacity for about 1,400 names, said no name has so far been rejected.

Brickwork around the monument and a flagpole will also be included in the final phase.

The Cumberland Veterans Monument Committee has so far raised about $22,000, almost halfway to its $50,000 goal for the entire project. A barometer-style sign donated by Joe Loring of Graphx Signs stands at Moss Side and reflects the committee’s progress.

About $17,000 was spent on the first phase.

Shane said he expects that every few years after the monument’s completion, additional names will be inscribed in groups on the stones.

Those interested in contributing to the project can reach Brenda Moore, Shane’s executive assistant, at Town Hall at 829-2205 or bstiffler@cumberlandmaine.com.

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