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Bridge dedications honor three Maine heroes in Brownville

Three bridges now honor three Brownville veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty several decades ago.

BROWNVILLE, Maine — For several weeks, covered signs will be posted next to each of Brownville's three bridges. Those signs were uncovered Wednesday with names honoring Brownville veterans who lost their lives at war. 

The first bridge honored Stanley Smith Larson, who was killed in action on June 14, 1953, while defending Outpost Harry during the Korean War. His youngest brother, Gary Larson, stood proudly as his brother was honored. 

"It means an awful lot to the Larson family but also to the town of Brownville," Larson said.

The Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society helped to make these bridge dedications possible with the help of town officials and Sen. Paul Davis, R-Piscataquis. Daniel Peters, vice president of the historical society, got emotional as he read a letter Larson had sent home to his family from the battlefield. 

"I had served in the Army in the field artillery. I had never been in combat, but I can only imagine what he went through," Peters said.

"I hope they understand the sacrifice that he made on behalf of all of us," Gary Larson said.

The second bridge honored Edward Fredonia Stone, who died during World War II when his troopship was torpedoed near the French port of Cherbourg in December 1944.

Virginia Weston, the youngest daughter of Stone, was just six months old when her father died. 

"It's a great honor having them do this to all three bridges," Weston said.

The third bridge honored Elden Howard Cail. He was killed in action during World War II on the island of Guam on July 28, 1944.

Each family shared their own personal stories about why it meant so much to them, including Crystal Cail, the great, great niece of Elden.

"It wasn't just him that served, he served along with three of his brothers, and he was the one that didn't come home. To have this bridge named after him is extremely special," Crystal said. 

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