AUBURN — Gov. Paul LePage told members of the Maine Society, Children of the American Revolution, to be proud of their efforts that keep their historic heritage alive. He spoke at the 62nd annual state conference of the youth organization, held Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch.

“There’s no place for politics when we talk about America,” LePage told the young CAR members. “It’s very important that we remember our history — certainly the great Americans who stood and sacrificed in protecting our freedoms.”

LePage spoke about the recent meeting of the National Governors Conference in Washington, D.C., noting that all 50 of the country’s governors agreed “on one issue — the militia.” He reminded the CAR members that the National Guard is our present-day militia, just as their ancestors were citizens who banded together to fight in the American Revolution.

“Every single governor signed a letter to the president, saying we want and demand that we keep our guards,” LePage said. It’s important that such a statement be made in opposition to possible reduced funding of National Guard units across the country, he said.

“The Guard is more than a fighting force,” he said, adding that it is one of the best-trained military organizations.

“Here in Maine, we have one of the most active Guards in the country,” LePage said, emphasizing that many of the state’s National Guard members have deployed four, five and six times in recent years. The families they leave behind are equally important in the successful contributions to defense made by the Guard, he added.

Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonte also addressed the group. He noted that he is the youngest mayor Auburn has had, and he encouraged the young people to become involved early in political and civic activities.

“You don’t have to be in your 50s or 60s to engage in the system of government that we have,” LaBonte said. “As soon as you hit 18, I say go for it. You’re not just the future; you’re the right-now of the country.”

Several dozen CAR members, guests and representatives of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Sons of the American Revolution attended the event, including Kasey Holland, CAR state president. He is a member of the organization’s Moses Greenleaf Society of Bangor. Other Maine CAR societies are in Portland, Gardiner, Waterville, Saco-Biddeford, Machias and Gouldsboro.

The conference included a celebration of this year’s project of collecting the stories of veterans to be compiled in a book that will be donated to schools. The organization also collects money and items to be donated to the “Operation Shoebox” program, which sends care packages to members of the military who are deployed overseas.

The Children of the American Revolution is the oldest youth patriotic organization in the country, with its 10,000 members, all under the age of 22, having proved direct lineage to someone who supported the American cause during the Revolution. CAR’s aims are to train young people in patriotism, love of country and leadership so they shall be better fitted for American citizenship.


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