Rededication of scout-built memorial highlights holiday in Belmont

BELMONT — With the help of the Troop 65 of the Boy Scouts and members the American Legion Post 58 the Veteran's Memorial built by former Eagle Scout Alan Bartlett was rededicated at its new home on Main Street yesterday.
The five granite pedestals, each representing a specific war (from WW I through Desert Storm) and some key battles fought during those wars, was moved from its former spot by the Tioga River as part of the Belmont Village Revitalization Project.
"I like it. I like it very much," said Carole Bartlett, Alan's mother of the memorial's new home in front of the town library. "It's permanent and more people will be able to see it."
While Alan was unable to join yesterday's Memorial Day ceremonies, Both Carole and Wayne Bartlett stood proud and the scouts, under the leadership of Senior Patrol Leader Alex Carmody raised the American flag, the N.H. State flag and the POW flag in their rededication service.
According to Wayne Bartlett, Alan's father, the project began in 2004 and was originally a 4-foot by 8-foot granite wall at the end of what used to be call Mill Street Extension.
"It was built down by the playground center," said Wayne Bartlett who said the only thing left down there now is the lilac bushes.
Wayne Bartlett said the entire project took about 800 hours and he remembered that his son's fellow scouts, his family and "even people who jut stopped by" helped with the project.
He said the only set back was when two teenage girls "tore it apart." He said the police caught up with them about a week later and part of their punishment was to help finish the memorial.
"I know one of those girls felt really bad," Wayne Bartlett remembered, calling the vandalism a senseless prank by teenagers "looking for something to do."
Despite the setback, Wayne Bartlett said the project was finished in August of 2004.
He said the only thing the town was unable to transfer was the tear drop flower bed but he heard the town was going to build a small cement tear drop as a remembrance.
About 150 people participated in yesterday's ceremony and the parade that went before it.
Selectman Chair Ron Cormier said the the board was thrilled that the monument was in a prominent area in the village and was really happy with the way it was relocated.