A Brief History
The idea for a Northern Maine Veterans Cemetery was conceived and presented to Governor Angus King in the fall of 1998. Impressed with the idea, Governor King impaneled a committee of Maine Veterans and Veterans Service Organizations to study the feasibility of constructing a cemetery in Northern Maine. The committee consisting of Donald F. Collins, Walter Corey, James R. Day Jr., Wilfred Deane, Richard Edgecomb, Zane A. Grant, Camille Lausier, Peter F. Miesburger, Jack Myers and Frederick Ormezzani conducted a study to ascertain interest in and demand for a veteran’s cemetery in Aroostook County. The study results indicated an overwhelming support by the veteran community in local burials. Many veterans and family members commented that the geographical location of the cemetery in Augusta made the bereavement and memorial process difficult.
A report detailing the study results was formally filed with Governor King and the legislators in December of 1998. In February 1999, an act was signed authorizing the Maine Veterans Services to develop both an architectural design and engineering plan for the cemetery.
In the spring of 1999, a non-profit cemetery corporation was formed to assist the state with the construction process. The corporation formally known as the Northern Maine Veterans Commemorative Cemetery Corporation (NMVCCC) is comprised of members from the American Legion, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of America, Maine Department of Defense and Veterans Services, and the Maine Funeral Directors Association. The work of the committee was facilitated when John and Joyce Noble agreed to donate land to the State for the construction of a Veteran’s Cemetery.
Insufficient state funding threatened to postpone development. A preliminary plan was then prepared and presented to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs State Cemetery Grants Program. The VA agreed to provide 2.8 million dollars to help fund the Phase 1 construction. In the fall of 2001, the State submitted the final construction plans to Washington for review. In April 2002, the VA approved the construction plans and gave the state the go-ahead. Soderberg Construction of Caribou was awarded the contract. The construction began in January 2002. Dedicated on June 1, 2003 the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Caribou became a reality when 33.4 acres of land were graciously donated by John and Joyce Noble of Caribou. Because of their generosity and the tireless efforts of a dedicated group of veterans, Northern Maine is proud to provide an appropriate final resting place for those who have unselfishly given to their country.
** The Maine Veterans Cemetery in Caribou has the capacity for over 10,000 full body burials and over 1500 cremations **