2014-11-14 / People

Book proceeds to benefit wounded vets

By Alex Acquisto
Staff Writer


Linda Lyon, a Kennebunk resident, holds her book during an author signing at H.B. Provisions last weekend. After Sept. 11, 2001, Lyon took pictures of as many displayed American flags around Arundel and the Kennebunks as she could. A portion of those pictures are in her self-published book, “One Small Community, One Expansive Flagship.” Lyon is donating all the proceeds from book sales to the Good Shepherd Food Bank and Wounded Warrior Project. 
(Alex Acquisto photo) Linda Lyon, a Kennebunk resident, holds her book during an author signing at H.B. Provisions last weekend. After Sept. 11, 2001, Lyon took pictures of as many displayed American flags around Arundel and the Kennebunks as she could. A portion of those pictures are in her self-published book, “One Small Community, One Expansive Flagship.” Lyon is donating all the proceeds from book sales to the Good Shepherd Food Bank and Wounded Warrior Project. (Alex Acquisto photo) KENNEBUNK — “It’s a universal theme,” said Linda Lyon as she thumbed through the pages of her photo book on Sunday morning.

The pictures throughout “One Small Community, One Expansive Flagship,” showed familiar settings — clapboard houses, coastal terrain and pine trees — joined by American flags and makeshift patriotic signs.

Lyon, who is former senior assistant to former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, felt helpless and low after Sept. 11, 2001. To help quell those feelings, Lyon began taking photographs of displays of patriotism around Arundel and the Kennebunks.

“It helped me feel like I was contributing to something,” Lyon said.

Feeling it was important that the symbols be documented on more than just her personal camera, Lyon self published her book last year.

Now, 13 years after the aftermath of the tragedy, patriotism continues to evolve for Lyon.

“What does it mean to be patriotic? How does it manifest itself? Are symbols important?” Lyon asked as people around her bustled through H.B. Provisions in Lower Village, eating breakfast and refilling their coffee.

Many people keep their flags out year-round. Others bring them out only after times of tragedy, like the Boston Marathon bombings, Lyon said.

She thinks it’s important to sustain dialogue about patriotism and nationalism; while many people display similar symbols of patriotism, definitions of what it means to be patriotic can vary from person to person, Lyon said.

As a way of galvanizing dialogue on the topic and simply distributing a snapshot of a specific period in history, Lyon has mailed complimentary copies of her book to a variety of people, including President George H.W. Bush and President George W. Bush (she received warm thank you cards from both), New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Alice Greenwald, the 9/11 memorial museum director. Greenwald and her team were vocal in their appreciation after receiving the 10 donated books, said Lyon, who hopes to mail a copy to each living former president.

She would also like to see her book and the idea of patriotic symbolism examined in classrooms throughout Regional School Unit 21.

Despite her assertiveness about displaying her work, Lyon is humble about her publication. She made the decision to turn over all profits from book sales to the Good Shepherd Food Bank and the Wounded Warrior Project a few months after the book was published.

“It’s my way of giving,” Lyon said. “It’s just one of those things I need to do. This is a fundraiser, in essence, for my community.”

“One Small Community, One Expansive Flagship” is sold at a variety of locations throughout Kennebunk, as well as in Portland at Sherman’s Maine Books and Stationary, Longfellow Books and at Lisa-Marie’s Made in Maine.

To purchase the book online or to see a list of vendors in Kennebunk, visit www.oneexpansiveflagship.com.

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