Dear Sun Spots: Every year the L/A Veterans Council dedicates a memorial stone at the Veterans Memorial Park, next to the Great Falls on Main Street in Lewiston.

This year the dedication will be on Memorial Day. Auburn is celebrating its sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary with a parade starting at Kennedy Park near Simone’s that will go through Lewiston and across the North Bridge to Auburn. The parade will return to the Veterans Park around 11 a.m. with the dedication of the 31st monument at that time. Bring your own folding chairs, as seating is limited.

I just want to remind readers that the list of names for the monument is filling up, but we have about 50 more names we can add, 216 in all. If you would like to have a relative or friend’s name on monument 31, now is the time to send in an application. We have had whole families’ names put on this last monument.

As always, you’ll need to have a copy of your service member’s honorable discharge Form DD214 or other documentation, such as a photo of your service member in uniform or a cemetery marker, or an obituary stating the person served in the U.S. military in any branch, including the Merchant Marines. Any person who has served or is on active duty, retired, or passed on, is eligible to have their names inscribed on our stones. The only criteria are that they served honorably and they were/are from Maine or their family was/is from Maine.

The inscription fee is $35 and includes his or her name, branch of service, war or conflict. Applications can be downloaded at both Auburn (auburnmaine.gov) and Lewiston’s (lewistonmaine.gov) city websites. You can also contact me at 207-782-1725, or email me at [email protected] I can send you a pdf form or an application can be sent by regular mail.—Normand, Lewiston

DEAR SUN SPOTS: Could readers get an update from Clem Bechard on the monument project at Gettysburg?

In re-reading the July 3, 2016 article on this great battle, I’m interested in hearing more about what has been happening to the Maine segment of the park. Thank you.—Leona, no town

ANSWER: If you go to the Sun Journal archives for October 23, 2016 (https://www.sunjournal.com/2016/10/23/bechards-fundraising-gives-20th-maine-monument-gettysburg-face-lift/) you will find an article by staff writer Steve Sherlock titled, “Bechard’s fundraising gives 20th Maine monument at Gettysburg a face-lift.”

When Bechard, a Lewiston history buff, was disappointed by the poor condition of the 20th Maine marker at Little Round Top in Gettysburg, he set out on a one-man mission to improve the situation. With a GoFundMe page, he raised over $2,000, even more than he had hoped for. Fifty people contributed to the cause. The money was then given to the Gettysburg Foundation & the Gettysburg National Military Park to clean and restore the granite marker so that the engraved names of those Mainers who fell in battle there can be clearly seen.

If you have been to the 20th Maine marker at Gettysburg since the fall of 2016, you can thank Mr. Bechard for his caring and for his efforts. I encourage all readers make the trip to this historical place. It’s a very moving experience.

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