This is a guest post by Ann Cornelison of Eastport, Maine. Ann was kind enough to contribute this post after being interviewed by Living Downeast about protesting the war in Iraq. She remembers Ed Earley, Navy veteran and war protester.
One of our most loyal regulars, Ed Earley, was a veteran, a Navy man, and he served as a Seabee in World War II. Ed would wear his ‘Veteran’s For Peace’ hat and always brought his carefully constructed wooden signs to the peace vigils .
Ed was a quiet man, with a friendly, calm demeanor . When his health declined, his nephew and family (another Ed and his wife Darbie) would drop Ed off at the peace vigil on Saturday mornings. Sometimes “young” Ed and Darbie’s young daughter would stay and stand beside Uncle Ed’s chair. Eventually Ed could no longer even come and sit with us; he spent the last months of his life in the nursing home, and he died on May 25, 2008.
Ed was a dear soul, and it was a privilege to know him.
One cherished memory is when U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud (D-ME) made a point of coming to shake Ed’s hand during the July 4th parade in Eastport in 2007, as he and the other politicians walked past where Ed was sitting with the rest of us war protestors, wearing his ‘Veteran’s For Peace’ hat and holding his carefully constructed wooden sign .
Ed was a man of honor and conscience, and the world is richer for his having passed through it.
The graveside service was held on a lovely June afternoon in Eastport, at Hillside Cemetery. There were four things on the cloth-covered table that we all gathered around: the box of Ed’s ashes, Ed’s veteran’s flag, a photo of Ed sitting with a friend on a pile of wood, and another photo, a casual portrait I’d say, of Ed standing with one of his large, wooden, carefully constructed anti-war signs.
We are honored that nephew Ed is going to let us use his Uncle Ed’s signs, on long-term loan, on Saturdays.
In Memory of Ed Earley 1927 – 2008
- photographs courtesy of Ann Cornelison