November 9, 2012

Gardiner's Christ Church Episcopal honors veterans Sunday

By Paul Koenig pkoenig@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

GARDINER -- Christ Church Episcopal will honor veterans Sunday morning at a special service that will include replicating how a church side altar appears in a World War II-era sketch.

click image to enlarge

Dorothy Washburne sets up a side altar to replicate one used during World War II, at Christ Church in Gardiner on Friday. The Episcopal church, located on Dresden Avenue, will be having a special service to honor veterans on Sunday, beginning at 10 a.m. Washburne said the church still has one member of the original World War II honor roll, far left.

Photo by Jeff Pouland

The 10 a.m. service replaces the usual two services on Sunday and will include an honor guard from the Marine Corps League's Kennebec Valley Detachment 599 carrying an American and a church flag to the altar.

After a moment of silence, two Gardiner Area High School student trumpeters will play taps.

"We just decided that it would be nice if the church did something to recognize all veterans and honor them for their service," said Dorothy Washburne, a member of the church, who is helping organize the special service.

Washburne, 78, said this is a first step in making contacts with veterans in the community to find out what type of support is needed.

"As we learn more about their needs, perhaps we could find a place for the church to meet those needs, because that's what churches are supposed to be about," she said.

The war-era sketch of the 1894 altar includes two framed honor rolls with the names of all church members serving in the war. One honor roll is apparently lost, Washburne said; but the other, with around 180 names, will be placed over the altar during the service.

Church organist Jody Clark said at least one veteran on the honor roll is expected to be in attendance Sunday.

Clark, who was baptized at the church 80 years ago, said she recalls the church using the side altar in the 1940s for special services in remembrance of those who served in the military.

The church has contacted American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts in the area and is inviting veterans of any wars and their families to attend Sunday.

Paul Koenig -- 621-5663
pkoenig@mainetoday.com

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