Tag Archives: Freeport Flag Ladies

Hundreds join Freeport Flag Ladies to mark 9/11: Gov. LePage, entire Maine congressional delegation among state dignitaries on hand

FREEPORT — The Freeport Flag Ladies maintained their decade-long tradition of waving the Stars and Stripes and were joined by Gov. Paul LePage, Maine’s entire congressional delegation, the commanding general of the state’s National Guard and several hundred others in a show of patriotism on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The group paused twice for moments of silence at the precise times that hijacked jetliners flew into the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

But the ceremony wasn’t all somber. Motorists honked their horns as people flanking both sides of Freeport’s Main Street cheered and waved their flags.

Click to read more of David Sharp’s Associated Press story in the Bangor Daily News.

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Haiti or bust, Sea Hunter’s crew keeps eyes on goal

MIAMI — It’s one of those images that stick with you forever.

Ten years ago, on the first of his many seagoing voyages to Haiti, Brian Ryder looked out at the approaching port city of Les Cayes.

Off in the distance at the end of a rickety dock stood a small boy, maybe 4 years old, staring intently back at Ryder.

“He was all stove up – had bloody knees and legs and he was sparsely clothed,” recalled Ryder, a 48-year-old father of five from West Bath.

Asking around, Ryder later learned that the Haitian boy had no mother, no father, no family at all. Like a stray animal, he relied on the people who worked around the dock for his meager survival.

“It was a life-changing experience,” recalled Ryder, who now serves as chief engineer aboard the treasure-salvage ship Sea Hunter.

Late Friday night, as Ryder lay in his bunk aboard Sea Hunter wondering if the ship will ever complete its on-again, off-again relief mission to Haiti, the little boy once again forced his way through the thicket of Ryder’s worries.

“How would my kids feel if their whole family was gone and they’re in this strange place with nobody really to hold them and say, ‘Hey, it’s going to be OK. Don’t cry. Don’t be scared’?” Ryder said. “Man, I’m tearing up right now just thinking about it.”

It’s easy, in the storm of controversy now swirling around the Sea Hunter and its owner, Greg Brooks, to lose sight of what this anything-but-conventional vessel and its crew are ultimately trying to accomplish.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s column by Bill Nemitz of the Portland Press Herald.