Saturday, 15 September 2018 17:20

Fallen state trooper honored with memorial rededication Featured

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PALMYRA - Nearly 40 years after Maine State Trooper Thomas Merry died in the line of duty, family, fellow troopers and local residents gathered to rededicate a memorial in his honor.

After Merry died, a monument was put up on Route 2 in Palmyra near a bridge named for the fallen trooper. But when a new bridge was put in, it made the monument hard to see.


"Some citizens in the area didn't even know there was a monument to Tom Merry," Maine State Police Lt. Mark Brooks said. "And that disheartened many of us who know what he gave that day - his sacrifice for the citizens of Maine."


Trooper Merry died in July of 1980 after being hit by a car involved in a high-speed chase. He died just a few hundred feet from where the monument now stands.


To honor that sacrifice, community members donated the funds, supplies and labor to construct a new memorial site. The new spot is still near the bridge, but in a location that it can be easily seen and appreciated.


At Saturday's ceremony, those who knew Merry shared stories of the trooper and father that was taken too soon.


"I knew Tom very well," said Mike Cray, a Palmyra selectman and Pittsfield police officer. "He was a great friend, a tremendous comrade and just a tremendous person. We really miss his caliber of trooper and person in the area."


Also at the rededication was Trooper Merry's son. Just a baby when his father was killed, Benjamin Merry said he is grateful for the continued support his family receives.


"It doesn't matter if somebody's deceased, you know, that you were close to," he said. "You still have more of a family than you really realize."


Ben Merry said the new location makes it easier for him to show his daughters his father's memorial.


"And to teach them the importance of all law enforcement in general," he said, "and for the fact that it's my father, who gave his life to protect other people."


Maine State Police troopers laid a wreath by the newly moved memorial site. Those gathered said the rededication was not about remembering how Trooper Perry died but rather how he lived.


Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...