Barre dedicates veterans’ memorial as part of bicentennial

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 30 June 2018 at 2:52 pm

‘This is to commemorate all residents from the Town of Barre who have served in the Armed Forces for the past two centuries. In memory of Fred Daniels by his family. June 30, 2018′ – plaque on new veterans’ memorial at Barre Town Hall

BARRE – Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 20 out of the Rochester area, were present this morning to dedicate a new veterans’ memorial and flag pole at the Barre Town Hall.

The family of the late Fred Daniels donated the flag pole and plaque. The stone for the monument was donated by Keeler Construction.

Daniels was 75 when he passed away on Oct. 22, 2014. He served in the US Army from 1961-1964 and was a member of the Sheret Post #35 American Legion and Past Commander of the Strickland Post #4635 V.F.W. He also volunteered as a driver with the Joint Veterans Council, taking veterans to medical appointments.

Town Supervisor Sean Pogue welcomes the crowd to the dedication. Pogue was dressed in an 1800s-era suit as part of Barre’s bicentennial celebration.

The family of Fred Daniels is pictured with the memorial after the dedication. Fred’s wife, Adrienne, is third from left in the back row. She is also the town historian.

Charlie Nesbitt, a former state assemblyman, grew up in Barre and was later a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. Nesbitt today spoke about a childhood friend, Rick Engle, who was 19 when he was killed in Vietnam on Feb. 2, 1968. Engle played Little League for the Barre Cubs as a kid. He grew up on Old Route 98.

Nesbitt said Engle is a hero. He was caught in an ambush in Vietnam and was killed when he tried to save a friend who was out in the open.

“Where do we find such men?” Nesbitt said. “Look around. Right here. In this little piece of America.”

Gary Daniels is the brother-in-law of Fred Daniels. Gary noted that Nesbitt was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Nesbitt was tasked with extracting a Special Forces unit out of Laos on November 14, 1968. While under enemy fire and with one chopper in the force crashing in the jungle, Nesbitt picked up the crew and left. However, it was soon discovered that one man, John Grimaldi, had been left behind. Though low on fuel, Nesbitt turned his helicopter around and successfully rescued Grimaldi under intense enemy fire.

Daniels said his late brother-in-law was dedicated to veterans, serving in the American Legion, VFW and with the Joint Veteran Council.

Orleans County Legislator Don Allport, in back by memorial, also spoke during the dedication. Allport is the nephew of Fred Daniels. Allport said he was fortunate to grow up in the “serenity” of Barre. He remembers sledding at Pine Hill and being a part of the Boy Scouts, Troop 175.

“I hope the youth growing up today enjoy what a fantastic place this is to grow up,” Allport said.

Three Scouts – Ethan Dunn, Ivan Barry and Aiden Rush – from Troop 175 raise the American flag on the new flagpole.

Earl Schmidt, director of the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, thanked veterans for their service. He welcomed more volunteers for the van service. Adrienne Daniels volunteers helping make appointments for the drivers. Schmidt said more volunteers are needed as drivers and in the office.

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America attended the dedication in Barre.

Keeler Construction donated the large stone for the memorial.

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