Franklin Countys First News

Veterans honored for their service

World War II veteran William Friberg is overcome with emotion as he receives a medal award from Lt. Col. Michael Backus at a veterans recognition ceremony held at the Farmington Baptist Church Saturday night.

FARMINGTON - WWII veteran William Friberg had a hard emotional time with the three medals he was awarded at a veterans recognition ceremony held Saturday.  As state Sen. Tom Saviello pinned two on and Lt. Col. Michael Backus another one, Friberg could only say, "I'm overcome."

John Kirby was surprised to receive more than his veteran recognition when he also got his high school diploma.

Kirby of Wilton, received the state's Silver Star for his award of the Purple Heart medal while serving in World War II. But, he was a bit unprepared when he was called up to also receive a high school diploma from Mt. Blue Regional School Union 9 Superintendent Michael Cormier.

He grinned as family members lined up to give him a hug.

In this, the fourth year of the veterans service recognition held at the Farmington Baptist Church and organized by Peter Ogden, Maine's director of the Bureau of Veterans Services and Sen. Saviello, a total of 150 medals have been presented to area veterans and family members, along with hundreds of certificates.

The certificates and medals handed out commemorating the military service of veterans are part of a state-sponsored "Honoring a Veteran" program. Gold Star, Silver Star, Bronze Star medals and Honorable Certificates are awarded to veterans and their families. Bronze is given to a family of a soldier who died out of combat, silver for veterans who had spent time as a prisoner of war or had been injured, and the gold star for the surviving family members of a soldier killed in the line of duty.

The Wilton Fire Department's Color Guard presented colors, the Farmington Emblem Club performed the flag folding ceremony and the Sandy River Young Marines the fallen soldier presentation.

Click here to read a related story by Paul Mills: The odyssey of Maine’s first Vietnam POW

Vietnam veteran Sandra Campbell of Farmington, receives a women's veteran coin from Peter Ogden, director of the Bureau of Veterans Services.

John Kirby of Wilton, is congratulated by Sen. Tom Saviello after receiving his high school diploma from Mt. Blue RSU 9 Superintendent Michael Cormier, at left.

At the end of the ceremony to recognize area veterans, family and friends take photos of the group honored.

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1 Responses »

  1. Heartfelt Thanks to All our Veterans...

    Thanks also to the good folks who set this ceremony up.

    You Dont have to serve in the military to be a patriot but military service is an honor.

    God Bless all our Counties Patriots!