Paul DiMatteo of Maine Memorial Co. in South Portland, left, and assistant Bryan Gower install a granite memorial Tuesday at Veterans Rest in Westbrook’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Westbrook’s annual Veterans Day ceremony is moving this year from its usual setting at the soldiers monument in Riverbank Park to the newly made-over Veterans Rest at Woodlawn Cemetery.

The traditional commemoration and ceremony is set for 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 11.

Woodlawn’s 72-year-old Veterans Rest section is now decked out with a solar-lit flag pole, new pavers, granite curbing, freshly seeded grass and new pavement, along with cleaned and straightened gravestones.

Veterans Rest in Westbrook’s Woodlawn Cemetery has a new look for this year’s Veterans Day commemoration and veterans are pleased with the result. From left, are American Legion Post 62 Past Commander Roger Barr, Westbrook Veterans Services Office Director Arty Ledoux. and Legion Post 62 Commander Dennis Marrotte. Robert Lowell / American Journal

The $38,000 makeover came in $7,000 under the City Council’s $45,000 budget for the project, according to Arty Ledoux, director of Westbrook Veterans Service Office, who managed the project.

“It was my baby,” Ledoux, a Marine Corps veteran, said Monday, and he is pleased with the results. “It brought dignity and respect.”

The majority of the work was contracted out with some performed by Westbrook Public Services.


Veterans Day was first commemorated as Armistice Day in 1919 following the end of World War I. Hostilities had ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day in the 11th month in 1918. The observance was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all American veterans of all wars and is a federal holiday.

The Veterans Rest project “had to be completed by September so we could grow grass” in time for the observance, Ledoux said.

Paul DiMatteo of Maine Memorial Co. of South Portland installed the final piece of the project Tuesday, a  granite monument bearing the site’s original bronze plaque.

Veterans Rest contains 39 graves of those who served in World Wars I and II, Korea and Vietnam.

American Legion Memorial Post 197 donated the POW/MIA flag.

Veterans Rest features a solar-powered light on the flagpole and new pavement. Robert Lowell / American Journal

Legionnaires praised the upgrade Monday.


“This looks great – marvelous job,” said Roger Barr,  past commander of the Legion’s Stephen W. Manchester Post 62.

Post 62 Commander Dennis Marrotte called the upgrade “very nice.”

Veterans Rest will be shipshape for next week’s ceremony with Fire Chief Stephen Sloan and Police Chief Sean Lally posting the colors after a bell rings 11 times. Girl Scouts of Maine will decorate graves with U.S. flags.

Ledoux will serve as master of ceremonies and Mayor Michael Foley will deliver a proclamation after Legion Post 197 Commander Jim Grant and Marrotte lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Richard Galipeau of Post 62 delivers the invocation.

Phil Leclerc of Post 62 and former Mayor Mike Sanphy will recite poems. Jim Gallant and Junie Dugas will perform patriotic songs.

Following the Veterans Day commemoration, Foley will rededicate the refurbished Veterans Rest in a separate ceremony.

Arty Ledoux places a flag at Veterans Rest in Westbrook’s Woodlawn Cemetery. Robert Lowell / American Journal


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