Headstone in memory of children who died during the Spanish flu pandemic to be blessed at Millinocket Cemetery

Father Dominic Savio, HGN, pastor of Christ the Divine Mercy Parish in East Millinocket and St. Benedict Parish in Benedicta, will join with ministers from other Millinocket churches on Thursday, November 2, to bless a headstone in memory of children who died during the Spanish flu pandemic more than a century ago.

The 1918-1919 pandemic, named for country where it first hit the hardest, killed 50 million people around the globe including 675,000 Americans, many of them children.

"In Millinocket, the early settlers of the community lost children to the illness and, at night, would bury their children in unmarked graves in Millinocket Cemetery," said Judy Ouellette, administrative assistant at Christ the Divine Mercy Parish. "To this day, there are sections of the cemetery that have few markers, but sections surrounding these markers cannot be sold because of the sheer number of unmarked graves that are known to be located in those areas."

One section of the cemetery already bears a headstone recognizing the children who died, but thanks to the support of Knights of Columbus Council 680, a second headstone was purchased to be placed in another area of the cemetery.

All are invited to attend the blessing ceremony, which will be held at 10 a.m. at the Millinocket Cemetery, which is located on East Avenue off Medway Road.

Information is also being sought about similar sites in the East Millinocket and Medway (Grindstone) cemeteries. Anyone with information is asked to call 207-723-3333.