Sunday, September 20, 2015



     Sunday, September 13, 2015, about forty individuals gathered at the Grand Trunk Cemetery for another ceremony to dedicate the recently acquired government marker for Joseph Lunt, a citizen-soldier of Back Cove in the East Deering Village.  Why did they come?  I surmise some came because of a familial relationship to the man, or to others interred at the ancient cemetery. Some came because they support the reclamation project begun five years ago. Some came because of a desire to connect to history. 

 I believe a dedication ceremony is an opportunity;  a sacred act, which beckons  us to pick up the threads of our past history, and to remember the people, places and events  which formed the rich tapestry of our nation.  The following pages contain photos and some of the highlights of the Dedication ceremony, along with the speeches .  I hope that readers of this blog will find the historical information regarding the role that Falmouth(Portland) and the district of Maine played in the Revolutionary War of interest.

Marianne Chapman represents Friends of the Grand Trunk Cemetery

The VFW Deering Memorial Post 6859 Honor Guard

Senior Vice Commander Derrick Stephens commanding..

CSM Joel W. Chapman (retired) Master of Ceremonies

Mrs. Elaine Falconer leads the singing of  '"My Country 'Tis Of Thee"
Rev. Christina Sillari, Minister of the 1st Parish in Portland, Unitarian Universalist delivers the Invocation.
Michael Bobinsky delivers the 'Greeting' from the City of Portland.
 Michael has been a supporter of the reclamation project and is a 'Friend of the Grand Trunk Cemetery.

MSG David Googins (retired), President of the Maine Military Historical Society
     David Googins is a retired Master Sergeant, having served in the United States Marines and full-time Army National Guard for 24 years.  David is the Chairman of the Maine Military Historical Society and the Maine Armed Forces Museum , located in Augusta, Maine.  David participated in the Dedication of the memorial for Joseph Merrill, War of 1812, another of our veterans interred at the Grand Trunk Cemetery in 2013.  He is also a listed member of the 'Friends of the Grand Trunk Cemetery.

This map helps to illustrate the historical references
 from David Googins' presentation.

David Manchester, President
Maine Society of the Sons of the American Revolution
Recognizes Patriots interred at the Grand Trunk Cemetery.

     David Manchester, is the President of the Maine Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.  David taught high school physics for many years, the last 27 years at Lake Region High School in the Naples - Bridgton area, until his retirement four years ago.  David has been President of the SAR for the last two years and devotes much time to promoting the organizations mission.  We were honored to have him speak at the ceremony.

Thanks to our Patriots
One reason for the greatness of our country, the United States of America, is the individual rights we citizens hold so passionately; rights that our founders believed were conveyed to us, not from some monarch, not from some parliament, not from a king such as George the 3rd, but at birth, to us, directly from God.
          240 years ago our forebears, including John Sawyer, Joseph Lunt, and Simon Davis, began an epic struggle to break free of a tyrant government and build one that would secure our rights to own property, to preserve life of self and family, and to enjoy personal liberty.
The rebellion was a vicious, brutal, bloody civil war--not THE Civil War--but truly a civil war, especially in Maine and North and South Carolina, with the rebels fighting the British soldiers as well as against many friends and neighbors who were staying loyal to the British government.
When reading the history you will quickly see that success was doubtful; defeat after defeat: Long Island, White Plains, Fort Washington, Quebec City.
However, after seven trying years testing their resolve, George Washington with thousands of determined men such as Maine’s own patriots John, Joseph, and Simon, and other ancestors of many in attendance today, the miracle of a new country emerged. 
Even thanking our patriots everyday is not enough for their struggles and pain, for without them our country would not be.
We Sons of the American Revolution make this pledge which we hope every American will enjoin.
“We descendants of the heroes of the American Revolution who, by their sacrifices, established the United States of America, reaffirm our faith in the principles of liberty and our Constitutional Republic, and solemnly pledge ourselves to defend them against every foe.”
Thank you John Sawyer, thank you Joseph Lunt, thank you Simon Davis.
God bless our country.
God bless us all.

John Sawyer was also a veteran of the Revolutionary War.
See the post in this blog regarding his service.  This photo
was taken when his marker was placed in 2012.

Simon Davis was but eighteen years of age when he served
in the Revolutionary War.
See his story in an earlier post in this blog.
     Sometime around 2010, but not enacted until 2012 or 2013, Congress passed a resolution requiring that only 'NOK' or next of kin, or those given permission from a living relative, could apply for a government issued replacement marker for any veteran in an unmarked grave.  In the case of veterans of the Revolution and the Civil War, this has often created an impediment to being able to honor these patriots.  There is movement, particularly in this state to change that requirement.

     Fortunately, Nicholas Noyes, a distant relative of both Joseph Lunt and his wife, Jane Noyes Lunt, agreed to write the letter giving us the required permission, and we gathered on September 13, to dedicate the stone in his memory.

Nicholas Noyes is a descendant of several, old Portland families,
 including Joseph Lunt.
     Nicholas Noyes was born in Portland, attended Hebron Academy, Portland High School and Dickinson College.  After 20 years in the hotel field in Kennebunkport, Nick received his Master's in Library Services from Columbia University in 1983.  Since returning to Portland, Nicholas has been associated with the Maine Historical Society as a volunteer, Reference Librarian, Head of Library Services, and currently, Curator of Library Collections.  His principal hobby is genealogy which he combines with " a fair knowledge of history." 

Kayla Theriault and Samantha Allshouse unveil the stone.

Five years ago, their Girl Scout Gold Award project,
,'Unearthing the Roots of the Back Cove and East Deering Communities'
launched the reclamation of the Grand Trunk Cemetery and the lost threads of history enabling us to honor our veterans and their families.
Nicholas and Edward (Ted) Noyes present the wreath honoring Joseph Lunt.

We are most grateful to David Carkhuff, News Editor from the Portland Phoenix for attending this ceremony and for his excellent article and photos.  I'm including the link for those of you who may wish to read David's account.

     Here are some additional photos in no particular order of the Dedication.

When your children ask in time to come,

"What do these stones mean to you?" 
then you shall tell them that.....
"These stones shall be
a memorial forever....."

Joshua 4: 6a - 7.