The town of Bar Harbor received negative national attention after the town’s council voted to have an-always lit Christmas tree which honored fallen veterans removed from the town.
But some residents say the national press only showed one side of the story. They have the utmost respect for veterans.
“I had people call me from California and Pennsylvania, they were friends of mine asking me, what are you guys doing up there? What happened? And I told them, you’ve only gotten one side of the story. This is just one person and one national news stations,” said Dick Cough, President of the Bar Harbor Village Improvement Association.
Sunday afternoon, locals and community leaders gathered together for a rededication ceremony of a veteran’s memorial at the Village Green.
“In August of 2012, Sherdy (President of the Bar Harbor Historical Society) and I happened to come past this monument and see that it needed repair,” said Debbie Dyer, Director of the Bar Harbor Historical Society.
So, one and a half years ago, the Bar Harbor Historical society joined forces with the town’s Village Improvement Association to revitalize it.
They also added six medallions on the monument to honor all those who served our country.
“This is something that has been ongoing for a long time. This isn’t some flyby night thing. We’re not out trying to self promote ourselves…We all get to sleep between clean sheets because of the veterans who served the country and died that’s why we’re all here and comfortable,” said Cough.
One Bar Harbor veteran was especially pleased with the rededication.
“I was very much dismayed with the whole issue around that lighted tree and I thought the posture of our town needed to be reinforced as to our commitment to our veterans, and so my wife and I made it a point to come here and be a part of today’s rededication and I was just doubly pleased again to see that there was reference to the United States merchant marines, ” said Thomas Rush.
For 16-year-old Hannah Paradis, it was difficult to see her town cast so negatively.
“It was really hard to see Fox News. Our town kind of being put down because we definitely all love veterans. There was a handful of people that were not so keen on the idea of a Christmas tree, but I really liked it,” said Paradis, a Bar Harbor resident.
She made some food for the ceremony.
“It definitely proves that we all really care about veterans because we’re all here from Bar Harbor and a lot of veterans showed up. I hope we get our respect back,” said Paradis.