SAMANTHA SMITH WAY CEREMONY AND ROAD DEDICATION
(Video of event here)
Maine Veterans For Peace, Tom Sturtevant Chapter 1, is hosting a celebration on Samantha Smith Day, June 5, 2023 at the Best Western Merry Manor Inn, 700 Main Street in South Portland, Maine. The event is to be held in the Wildwood Ballroom starting at 10am, and will feature local politicians, poets, teachers and entertainers who will remember “Maine’s Youngest Diplomat”.
Samantha Smith Day was officially recognized by the State of Maine in 1987 and is always the first Monday in June. The Samantha Smith Way new Commemorative sign is at the intersection of US Route 1 at the Maine Turnpike Approach (exit 45) off of the Maine Turnpike, adjacent to the Best Western Merry Manor Inn.
Featured speakers include VFP honorary member and artist Robert Shetterly, founder of Americans Who Tell the Truth. Robert has been painting portraits of people who have fought for social, economic, environmental and racial justice issues since 2002, and painted Samantha’s portrait in 2004. Rob Kelly, Assistant Professor at the School of International Services, American University, uses Samantha’s work for peace as an example to be followed in helping students understand their role in being a global citizen.
Doug Rawlings, a Vietnam veteran and president of the Maine Chapter of Veterans For Peace said of Samantha’s legacy, “In this time when many choose to falsely divide generations along stereotypical lines, this day provides us with an opportunity to celebrate all people who work for peace by acknowledging the power of one person who dared to cross national boundaries and reach out to another person.”
Samantha Reed Smith (June 29, 1972-August 25, 1985) was an American peace activist and actor from Manchester, Maine who became famous for her anti-war outreaches during the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union. In 1982 she wrote a letter to Yuri Andropov, the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR and received an invitation to visit the Kremlin, which she and her family accepted.
Contact: Don Kimball 505-501-9438
Veterans For Peace is a non-profit 501c3, and an international organization of veterans and non-veteran allies who work for peace at home and abroad.
Collections of the Maine State Museum
Samantha Smith, Manchester, 10