Sunday, 07 October 2018 20:17

Bridge dedicated in memory of Cpl. Eugene Cole Featured

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NORRIDGEWOCK - Route 201A in Norridgewock is now officially home to the Corporal Eugene Cole Memorial Bridge.

 

Law enforcement members, politicians, bagpipers, and people from the local community came to pay respect to the fallen Somerset County deputy. A dedication ceremony at the foot of the bridge on Sunday marked the naming of the memorial.

 

The bridge, in the same town where Cpl. Cole lived with his family, crosses the Kennebec River. It now bears a plaque honoring Cpl. Cole.

 

"He epitomized what we want in law enforcement in officers today," said Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster. "He was part of the community."

 

Corporal Cole was shot and killed in the line of duty in April.

 

On Sunday, his family gathered with caring citizens from as far as Massachusetts. They walked across the bridge and remembered the man who gave everything for his community.

 

"He was always open and he was a bridge builder with not only the people of Norridgewock, but everyone in the county," said Sheriff Lancaster.

 

Sunday's dedication ceremony was the result of a bipartisan bill signed by Governor Paul LePage to name the Norridgewock bridge in the deputy's honor. The idea to name the bridge was originally brought forward by a state representative from Norridgewock.

 

"The community and the outpouring today shows how rural Maine and politics can be," said Rep. Brad Farrin (R), who came up with the idea to dedicate the bridge and saw it through. He represents Maine District 111 (Madison, Norridgewock, and Solon).

 

"I was determined to be here," said Sen. Susan Collins (R). "It was such a moving ceremony and his example is truly an example to all of us on how we should live our lives."

 

But perhaps the most notable showing was from the crowds of local residents - the people that those who knew Corporal Cole said he so proudly served.

 

"I've gotten to know Sheryl [Cpl. Cole's wife] and the family through this whole process," said Rep. Farrin. "Walking across the bridge I was kind of teasing her and said 'look behind you'...to have the crowd on the other side of the bridge I hope it brings some comfort and solace to the family."

 

After the bridge was dedicated, Corporal Cole's family and community members released balloons into the sky. On what would have been the deputy's 62nd birthday, those there said this bridge ensures he won't be forgotten.

 

Kelly Mitchell

Reporter
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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...