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Belfast Armistice Footbridge Rededicated 

Catherine Pegram

A footbridge in Belfast once again pays tribute to some of Waldo County’s fallen sons. A ceremony today rededicated the re-named Armistice Bridge and unveiled a memorial recognizing those who died in World War I.For Barbara Hills of Searsport, a walk across the footbridge is now more than just a gentle stroll. It’s also a way to remember her uncle, Elden Choate – one of 55 men from Waldo County who lost their lives in World War I. “He never had a chance to get married or grow up as a man should. So this is very special.”The once-crumbling crossway – named the Veterans Memorial bridge in 1921 – was brought back to life in 2006, with the help of the group, Friends of the Bridge. Earlier this year, they petitioned the city to re-name it the Armistice Bridge and re-dedicate it – 89 years to the day it was first celebrated. Organizer of the group, Tammy Lacher Scully says, “We celebrated the peace that was called at the end of World War I and we did it for 20 years. I worry that if we forget World War I and forget that we celebrated the peace, that we won’t have peace, again.”Governer Baldacci, who attended the rededication, saysy “It says to the citizens we don’t forget. We don’t forget those who sacrificed for World War I. There is no monument in Washington. But the people here in Maine, in Waldo County, Maine, in Belfast, Maine are saying – we don’t forget. We never forget.”A new bronze plaque on the bridge also list the names of those who died in the conflict, replacing a similar memorial that went missing in the 1960’s. Colonial Jack Mosher with the Maine Army National Guard says it completes what this community hopes will now be a lasting tribute.”If we remember the war that occurred in 1917-1918 for our nation and we have the sense of honor to remember them now, on this particular bridge, 89 years later, then all successive generations of veterans will likewise be remembered.”