By Charlotte Boynton
The Wiscasset High School Student Council presents a $200 check to American Legion Post Cmdr. William Cossette for the Post’s effort to place American
flags on utility poles throughout Wiscasset. From left: Cossette, Council President-elect Ridge Barnes, Vice President Briana Goud, and President Logan Grover. (Charlotte
Buy this photo
Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services Director Peter Ogden (right) presents a certificate of appreciation to World War II Veteran William Collins during the
D-Day remembrance at Wiscasset High School, Friday, June 6. Collins is a veteran of the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. (Charlotte Boynton photo)
Buy this photo
Wiscasset High School commemorated the 70th anniversary of D-Day on Friday, June 6.
On June 6, 1944, one of the most heroic wartime operations in the 20th century took place on the beaches of Normandy, with about 156,000 allied soldiers landing on five beaches
assigned with the code names they are still known by today: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
D-Day was the name given to that invasion of Nazi-occupied France, when allied soldiers stormed the coast from Saint-Marie-Du-Mont to Ouistreham. The battle of Normandy lasted
for 80 days with thousands of casualties before the German forces retreated and France was liberated on Aug. 25, 1944.
Wiscasset High School teacher and Vietnam veteran Robert W. Cronk came up with the idea to hold the day-long remembrance. His father, Robert E. Cronk, landed at Gold Beach
during the Normandy invasion. WHS staff member Joe Hovance helped Cronk coordinate the event.
Every half-hour throughout the school day, a student would leave class and ring the ship’s bell in the lobby 15 times for a total of 550 times by the end of the day. The number
represents the number of veterans who die each day. The school had many D-Day displays and memorabilia for visitors to observe.
World War II veterans, Korean War veterans, Vietnam veterans, veterans of recent conflicts, and military families were recognized during the ceremonies.
The American Legion Brandford- Sortwell-Wright Post Cmdr. William Cossette and Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services Director Peter Ogden presented certificates of appreciation to
World War II veteran William Collins, Oscar Cronk, and others.
The American Legion also presented Blue Star Service Banners to military families present at the remembrance. It is an American tradition since 1917, the height of World War I,
to display a Blue Star Banner in the window of a home when there is a family member serving in the U.S. armed forces.
Recipients of the Blue Star Service Banner included Lisa and Russell Marr, whose daughter Shania, a 2014 Graduate of Wiscasset High School, serves in the Maine National Guard;
and Roger and Beth Whitney, the parents of Raymond, a Marine Corps reservist.
The Wiscasset High School Student Council decided to donate the money for their year-end celebration to the American Legion flag project. For the past few months, the local
Legion Post has been raising funds to place American flags throughout town on utility poles.
The goal was to place flags from the Woolwich-Wiscasset town line, to the Davey Bridge, and from the Dresden-Wiscasset town line on Route 27 to Route 1. Cossette said recently
they are very close to reaching their goal.
Student Council President Logan Grover presented a $200 check to Cossette. “There is nothing more meaningful than the greatest flag in the world,” Grover said. Council Vice
President Briana Goud and President-elect Ridge Barnes assisted in the presentation.
Following the presentation, the student council members spoke to each of the veterans and thanked them for their service.