Thanks to all who contributed to Thresher Memorial Project

Dec. 4 — To the Editor:

ARThe Kittery Town Council by unanimous consent recently accepted the gift of all the Thresher Memorial Project improvements (flagpole, signage, monumentation, benches, trees and plantings, and water-electricity additions), along with $5,000 in funds for a permanent municipal fund to be used for future maintenance.

The Project’s improvements in the Circle and Kittery Memorial Park reflect the stately, dignified, and symbolic objective to honor the men of Thresher in the town she was built in, and serve to signify Kittery’s pride in our rich maritime history, standing up for the freedom of this great country, and clearly displaying that we honor our own.

Thresher contributor, and member of the Kittery Rotary After Hours Club, Nancy Peschel, sponsored their accepting the role of project administration with our gratitude. A very dedicated group of community-service oriented local folks, it is pleasing to see that the efforts will continue under a formal umbrella.

Especially meritorious credit goes to the Town Council, and Town departments, for unwavering support in making this memorial a reality. Sincerest appreciation to President George H. W. Bush for his generous support and endorsement, as well as the communities of Portsmouth, Rye, Hampton, and Wells.

Greatest indebtedness to the Kittery Maine Improvement Foundation, a non-profit entity established to support improvement projects benefitting of the Town of Kittery, officers Judy Spiller, George Dow, Duncan McEachern, Gerry Mylroie, who first accepted sponsorship of the Thresher Project, enabling tax deductible status for contributions.

The Group fully acknowledges that this Project could not have come to fruition at all without every individual and company who made contributions large and small. More than 430 from all around the United States (including 82 from Kittery) donated funds, or in-kind materiel and services, in the amount of $216,874.61 to the project. 91 came forward to sponsor publication of D. Allen Kerr’s book “Silent Strength” leading to sizeable and continuing contributions.

And with certainty, most generous contributions by our largest donors: Lang Landscaping Services, H. L. Patten Construction, PNS National Association of Superintendents of Naval Shore Installations, the Men & Women of Electric Boat, Northrop Grumman and Northeast Credit Union.

For those interested, future donations are welcome and may be made payable to “Town of Kittery Thresher Memorial Permanent Fund (Note in Memo: Account #5007)” and sent to: Town of Kittery, 200 Rogers Road, Kittery, ME 03904.

Great thanks as well to the Portsmouth Herald. Your magnanimous coverage throughout, offered widespread awareness of the Thresher stories and Project progression, keeping the goal alive and the end realized.

Finally, it goes without saying that a great, great, many Thresher family members, and many folks with personal connections, expressed welcome closure, best stated by Thresher Chief Petty Officer Jack Noonis’ son Tim, “As a young boy, then a teenager, eventually a young man, and now as an adult, there was never a monument where we could go to on April 10 to place flowers and acknowledge their sacrifice. Now we have such a place.”

Gary Beers

Kittery, Maine