USM march remembers fallen heroes

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USM marchers honoring fallen heroes on Monday, Sept. 11, walked nearly 10 miles from the university's Portland campus to the campus in Gorham. They are pictured here westbound on lower Main Street in Gorham.

USM marchers honoring fallen heroes on Monday, Sept. 11, walked nearly 10 miles from the university’s Portland campus to the campus in Gorham. They are pictured here westbound on lower Main Street in Gorham.

USM marchers move up College Avenue in Gorham on Sept. 11.

Camden Ege, USM’s veterans services coordinator, displays the stone from Gorham and photo in membrance of Navy Seal Patrick Feeks who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

GORHAM — Honoring fallen veterans, about 30 members of the University of Southern Maine community Monday marched nearly 10 miles between its Portland and Gorham campuses.

The march was on the 16th anniversary of  the Sept. 1, 2001, terrorist attacks on the U.S.

Camden Ege, a graduate student and the university’s veterans’ services coordinator, was an organizer of the march that paused briefly in Westbrook.

“Couldn’t ask for better weather,” said Ege, an Air Force veteran, when the group completed their trek in Gorham.

The march was in conjunction with the Summit Project that ensures Maine’s fallen veterans are not forgotten.

Each university marcher carried a stone honoring service personnel who died in the line of duty. Two of those veterans had local family ties and their stones came from family land.

The two among the veterans remembered in Monday’s march were Navy Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Patrick D. Feeks and Marine Cpl. Mark R. Goyet.

Feeks, who had Gorham family, died at 28 in 2012 in a helicopter crash near Kandahar, Afghanistan. “He was a Navy Seal,” Ege said.

Goyet of the 1st Marine Division, age 22, was killed in combat in the Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2011. His obituary said his maternal grandparents are Philip and Nancy Curran of Westbrook.

Edward Suslovic, a former Portland city councilor, accompanied the university participants, some of whom were combat veterans. Suslovic said people along the route were “very supportive” and the marchers received a lot of beeps and waves from drivers.

The marchers ended their trek at the USM President’s House where they were served lunch.

Ege said the G.I. Bill is benefiting 400 students at the university, making it the leader of any Maine college, private or public.

Robert Lowell can be reached at 854-2577 or rlowell@keepmecurrent.com

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