Fallen heroes honored through Presque Isle lawn display

Published: May. 31, 2021 at 7:56 PM EDT|Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 8:19 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Flags and faces line the grass on Hillside Street as a tribute to many who made the ultimate sacrifice, As Jonathan Kelley says, each of the more than 125 heroes displayed here has a story.

“What is here at my house is the stories of so many men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice. It’s their stories that are told today and into the future for everybody to understand.”

Over the years Kelley’s display has grown to include members of the armed forces during post 9/11 conflicts, and much more.

“It’s not just Iraq and Afghanistan that are here,” Kelley says. “Primarily those are post 9/11 hero signs that are here. But we have World War II, Vietnam, Somalia. We’re also honoring those veterans who took their life through suicide. What’s here today is obviously at my house, but I can’t express enough that these are the stories of these individuals who sacrificed their lives and their gold star families that we remember.”

A gold star family is one that has lost a loved one while in service. Kelley says he has gotten to know a number of those families,  in the County and around the state. He says this display is for all of them.

“For a gold star family, every day is Memorial Day. Every day they are remembering their loved one. So, while we as a nation have one day… and we take one day to pause and remember. It’s important that this is a day where we truly do pause because again for every gold star family, every day is Memorial Day for them. The families never want their loved ones to be forgotten so this means a lot to them.”

Kelley says the display will remain up throughout the week as a way to not only honor the fallen on Memorial Day, but every day.

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