The new Pleasant River Bridge in Milo has been named in memorial for James Ellingson, who lived nearby with his family. Pictured at the Oct. 1 dedication ceremony are Ellingson’s brothers David, right, and Johnny, second from right along with his wife Carla, and Milo Town Manager Robert Canney. Credit: Stuart Hedstrom / Piscataquis Observer

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On Saturday, Oct. 1 the town of Milo dedicated the three bridges that run through our town to three native sons who were killed in action in Vietnam 50 years ago.

It was a magnificent day for everyone involved; a day filled with melancholy, respect, and memories of Wayne Sangillo, James Ellingson, and Henry “Butch” Heal Jr.

All three were the tip of the military spear in that far away country where over 58,000 Americans perished; Wayne and Butch were infantry and JImmy was a helicopter pilot.

The renaming of the bridges saw over a hundred people show up to honor three sons who never returned to the community they loved. The families of our fallen heroes received confirmation that our town hasn’t forgotten the service and sacrifice of their loved ones. Their names now adorn the bridges over the Sebec, Pleasant, and Piscataquis rivers as they make their inexorable trip to the sea.

I want to thank Rep. Richard Evans for his legislative efforts to rename the bridges and Milo Town Manager Bob Canney, a retired Marine himself, made the day possible with his tireless efforts and support.

Wayne Sangillo, James Ellingson, and Henry “Butch” Heal gave their last full measure of devotion to this nation. Saturday’s events codified that truth and assured their names will live on forever in the history of this small, grateful town.

Tony Hamlin


Milo Select Board