BANGOR – It was a time for remembrance at Bangor International Airport early Tuesday morning.
The names of four troop greeters who passed away in the last 12 months joined other deceased troop greeters in a memorial brick walkway in front of the airport.
“It’s never easy. I believe this is my third ceremony as chair and it’s tough, they’re family. We get up in the middle of the night, 2 a.m., blizzard and we’re here and they’re just dedicated people and it’s hard,” Troop Greeter Chairwoman Allison Hernandez said.
And according to Hernandez, that dedication by the troop greeters, past and present, is integral to the identity of those volunteers.
“Since 2003 we’ve greeted over 1.5 million troops, over 7,800 flights. That’s a lot of hours to be out here and just giving our time and we do it because we love it,” Hernandez said.
Members of the nonprofit organization, like Deborah Milner, said they are thankful to the airport for recognizing the impact the greeters have made.
“Very honored if it wasn’t for the airport or for our board, I don’t know [what we would do]. It’s been very honorable and very emotional for us to have this and I’m glad to be a part of it, ” Milner said.
The most important aspect of being a troop greeter that was symbolized in the ceremony?
“Being a family period. When somebody is sick we try to make sure that somebody knows about it, if like today if somebody has passed we try to let everyone know. We’re always there for everybody,” Milner said.
The memorial ceremony is a somber and emotional time for the friends and family in attendance.
“We’ve always been close so it’s been very hard to say goodbye,” Milner said.