BANGOR – What’s in a name? Ask the veterans at American Legion Post #12 in Bangor and they would argue a name can mean a lot. And they’ve been working hard to bring the story of a local soldier to the forefront.
Bangor has many parks where people can get away and relax. There’s one small plot of land in the city named for PFC James Williams, who lived anything but a peaceful life.
Before he gave his life for his country, Williams grew up fast in the working-class part of the city. He lived with his uncle a foster child on Hancock Street. It’s quiet these days, but before World War I it could be described as a pretty rough neighborhood, complete with a red light district.
Williams played in the park and attended the catholic school that once stood on the land. Until recently, though, few people knew the park had a name; It was dedicated to Williams in 1939. This year, Post 12 stepped in and made sure visitors would always remember, especially because Williams and thousands of his comrades are still buried near where they died on a battlefield in France.
“There’s no easy way to go and visit them to pay your respects… They’re all important,” Clark Thompson of Post 12 said through tears, speaking about the men who died in the war. “But [being buried overseas] maybe makes it more important.”