VIDEO: Duo Begins Vigil At Woonsocket War Memorial

Friends spending days at site to show support for keeping monument intact.


Tom Poole of Woonsocket and Barbara Dardeen of Warwick are spending days at the World War I memorial sporting a cross a national activist group says has to go.

The memorial at Fire Department Headquarters on Cumberland Street, once painted gray, is now speckled with gray flakes of paint. Left to the elements another few years, the cross might leave the memorial without outside help. The base of the cross at the top of the memorial, opposite the plaque, is crumbling. The plaque reads it was dedicated to the memory of William Jolicoueur in 1921. It was dedicated again in 1952 to the Gagne brothers: Alexandre, Henri and Louis. 

Once, Poole said, the memorial was part of a median strip before the road through the city was rerouted.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has asked the city to remove the cross and to remove an image and prayer from the Fire Department's website, citing their religious nature.

The cross, at least, won't be going anywhere if Poole and Dardeen have anything to say about it. "We'll both spend as much time out here as we need to, to make sure that the monument stays put," Dardeen said.

"If they're going to move it, number one will it even withstand a move?" Dardeen asked. Secondly, she said, who will pay to move it?

Poole, a disabled veteran, said he read about the FFRF's letter asking the city to remove the cross, and the web images at 2 p.m. Tuesday. He was at the site in front of at 5 Cumberland Hill Road by 2:30 p.m. He was back again Wednesday, this time with Dardeen, who had the day off.

Poole's motorcycle was parked in front of the memorial, next to two folding chairs the pair sat in and a large US flag flapping in a modest breeze. Poole's radio was tuned to a talk show - the subject of the day a discussion of the challenge to the memorial's cross. People have been stopping by to visit the friends all day long and the firefighters have been very supportive, Poole said.

Joe Gamache, a vice president for the Vietnam Veterans of America James Michael Ray Memorial Chapter 818, finds the situation incredible. "It's just unreal, you know? Unbelievable," he said while visiting Poole and Dardeen.

Many local veterans are upset about the demand to remove the Latin cross from the memorial. Gamache said he hopes they make their views heard. "I just hope they rise up and band together on this," he said.

John Larrabee April 28, 2012 at 07:07 AM
For a good chuckle, cut and paste the link: http://www.zoomvillage.com/newsStory.cfm/5094/Patch-exposed
pitbull tickler April 28, 2012 at 08:46 AM
for a good chuckle, follow the link: http://www.zoomvillage.com/newsStory.cfm/5094/Patch-exposed
Dagny Taggart April 28, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Truer words never spoken DonQ. The lack of "tolerance" has blinded them to their brutal attacks on others....attacks that they condemn by anyone else. No one was being harmed by a war memorial paying honor to those in died for our freedoms. One would think that they are vampiric with their illogical fear of a cross. It is but a symbol or a sign. I'm not particularly fond of STOP signs ....shall I start a crusade to have them removed? It has been suggested that those who are interested shall place simple white crosses of a sizable nature on their front lawns as a sign of support for these war veterans. I hope that we see many white crosses on lawns throughout Woonsocket and beyond.
Dagny Taggart April 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM
And that post if funny why John Larrabee? Is if funny because you wrote it? Is it funny because you are attacking the "Patch"? The Patch is a place for people to share their opinions and their concerns,to keep connected with local events, that is what I see it as. While the reporting can be a catalyst for discussion I do not hold it's news reporting to the standards of The New York Times or even The Valley Breeze. To attack it for your own purposes is as shallow as your "zoomvillage" article. I have found many companies and organizations do a piss poor job of background checks these days, clearly the Patch is yet another. I do not find it amusing or worthy of "a good chuckle", as you put it, in any way, shape or form.
Dagny Taggart April 28, 2012 at 02:08 PM
You continue to amaze and confuse me "Dilberth". You claim to not acknowledge Christ and yet you reference his existence constantly...odd. You do however admit to having a keen knowledge and relationship with Satan and I quote you; "Satan loves you. He is watching over you and taking you into his loving embrace. You are doing just exactly what he wants you to do. Make some more enemies because that is what Satan wants" So, again....confusing.....if there is no God, no Jesus then of course you would not believe in Satan and yet you seen to have this close working relationship with him to the point where you know his wants, needs, desires. You also musn't have any Christian friends, otherwise I am sure they would be terribly insulted by you calling them "a thirsty bunch, hungry for vengeance and eager to damn anyone who doesn't believe as they do." These are not the Christians that I know. The Christians that I know are kind, generous, charitable, loving, devoted to their families and communities and loyal and trustworthy friends. If I were to venture a guess I would say not only do you not have any Christian friends but you don't really have any friends at all....but that's just a guess. Maybe you and angry Louise can hang out? Maybe read some Brothers Grimm "fairy tales" together?
DonQ April 28, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Dagny, Dilberth's posts confuse me also. It sounds to me like he is not so much an Atheist, as he/she is a Satanist who is so filled with hatred and vengeance that he/she is blind to common sense. I truly beleive that Dilberth is a prime example of what the Freedom From Religion Foundation really stands for. They are not so much about defending the non-belief of Atheists, as they are about spreading hatred and vengeance against Americans across the nation. Defending the "rights" of Atheists is nothing more than a smoke screen.
Meesh April 28, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Amen brother. Socialism is very scary indeed.
Meesh April 28, 2012 at 04:36 PM
John why would you badmouth The Patch? Don't you/didn't write for them?
Dagny Taggart April 28, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Meh, The "past tense" may be the reason....
Dagny Taggart April 28, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Dilberth, Are you a card carrying member of the FFRF? Or are you a Satanist hiding behind the cloak of atheism? Inquiring minds want to know. Just so that we can understand your postings or try to shed some light on them. I find your postings confusing and coming from different directions. Many thanks , in advance, for clearing this up.
deb of see-attleboro April 28, 2012 at 05:50 PM
You're wrong, Dilberth. The Holy Spirit resides in each and every believer. The beauty of this country is American's of all faiths must tolerate the atheists. Atheists must tolerate people of faith. Some people in either faction have trouble tolerating anything. It is what it is.
Dagny Taggart April 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Well said Deb. Very well stated.
Bruce Springsteen April 29, 2012 at 01:43 PM
What part of the First Amendment do you object to? Every kid who goes by some government property sporting a Christian symbol, or hears some Christian politician using their office as an excuse to talk about God, is growing up with the message that Christian monotheism is the officially approved belief of real Americans. They aren't stupid -- they can see the obvious subtext, no matter how much thick-headed adults deny or miss it. Such symols indeed add up to an establishment of religion, and anyone who put the shoe on the other foot woud see that. This is exactly the pervasive religious presumptuousness the founders were trying to exclude from the public business. Who are you to decide how much Christian religion in secular government is no big deal? That is not your prerogative, or anyone's. The agreement is no religious promotion in the public sector, no politics in church. No exceptions. Organizations like Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the FFRF are protecting all of our rights to the government we are promised in the Constitution, and no amount of self-serving, bigoted lying by Christians will stop that principle from being defended.
DonQ April 29, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Interesting, The first three folks that the FFRF sent in to post their messages of hatred and anger failed to rile people up enough, so now they have contacted someone else to try to get their message of hatred across. Again, they are so blind and narrow minded, they refuse to see a memorial as anything but a symbol of religion. Their goal is to poison the minds of all Americans into believing that all crosses are religious symbols and therefore are evil. I really feel sorrow for people who are so full of hatred.
Dagny Taggart April 29, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Bruce Springsteen, What kind of nonsense are you uttering? Object to the First Amendment? What? The only objection, relative to the First Amendment that I may even relatively have is that people misquote it and manipulate it for their intolerant behavior. It is FREEDOM OF RELIGION, NOT FREEDOM FROM RELIGION. You seem so phobic about your "anti-Christian" obsession that you cannot see the forest for the trees. You state: Every kid who goes by some government property sporting a Christian symbol, or hears some Christian politician using their office as an excuse to talk about God, is growing up with the message that Christian monotheism is the officially approved belief of real Americans." - WHAAAT? Don't paint all the "kids" with the same paintbrush that you seem to have in your home. I can guarantee you that my children do not believe your biased statement. If, as you say " Such symols indeed add up to an establishment of religion, and anyone who put the shoe on the other foot woud see that." than it does so in your own narrow mind, not in mine and not in the minds of my children. You ask " Who are you to decide how much Christian religion in secular government is no big deal? That is not your prerogative, or anyone's" My answer is: I am not deciding, never asked to decide and who are you to decide? Again, we are promised in the Constitution "Freedom OF Religion" NOT Freedom FROM Religion. You would do well to learn tolerance of ALL religion. You are what you hate.
English first April 29, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Where are the Woonsocket Representatives and state Senators on this issue? Will they be at the rally?
Joe The Plumber April 29, 2012 at 03:34 PM
So you are now exposed for the Anti-Christ Satanist that you really are. Not surprised.
Dagny Taggart April 29, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Here's an interesting tidbit....which came first??? If the dates are correct than the City (the government) infringed upon the Memorial and the Memorial was at this location first. The memorial dates back to 1921 and the Fire Department was placed there in 1926. For legal reasons this may have some bearing, not sure how yet but it may be easier to separate the two pieces of land with this in mind. Anyone in real estate law in this group?
RonW April 29, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yes, Woonsocket Patch is going down hill. It hasn't been the same since Sandy left.
Lorraine Corey April 29, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Supporters of the Jolicoeur Monument: Place white ribbons on your property (tree, front door, lamp post, etc.) to show your support. Don't forget the rally at the monument, May 2nd, 4:30 pm, Fire Station 2, Cumberland Hill Rd.
RonW April 29, 2012 at 08:53 PM
The Patch didn't even report on the fire on Hope Street.
Dilberth April 29, 2012 at 10:32 PM
My understanding is that there will be a small contingent of Freedom From Religion Foundation members and other Christ deniers present at the rally. Jessica Alquist might even appear. Please keep things civil. I know that this is like asking a Hell's Angel's chapter to temporarily put down their blades and guns, but please try. Don't be so eager to be offended by those who say there simply is no guy in the sky who has complete control over you or that there was a half-man, half-god who was born of a virgin, impregnated by a rapist from outer space who had no idea of a proper courtship in the first place, who died in order that others could then believe in him, so that they could be finally saved. I know, this is hard to accept, and you may be gritting your teeth, but keep it civil. Pretty please!
DonQ April 29, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Dilberth, The folks on this list have continued to be very civil. The only one posting here who has gone out of their way to attempt to provoke anger here is you. You are totally disrespectful of any one who has any belief other than your purely satanic view point. If you are the best that the FFRF has been able to dig up, then they are obviously a total laughable outfit.
Dagny Taggart April 30, 2012 at 01:20 AM
Dilbert, Why must you be so vile? It seems to be your intention to insight anger and discord....you truly are a messenger of "Satan". Your post is disgusting. The saving grace is that you will see true compassion in those who have tolerance and logic on their side. You are not a nice person. I can see why you are aligned with such negativity.
deb of see-attleboro April 30, 2012 at 09:51 AM
Dagny: I don't think Dilberth is a messenger of Satan. Satan is far more intelligent and cunning. IMO, people like Dilberth unwittingly do the work of God. It is the Christians who thrash about in anger who unwittingly do the work of Satan.
Doc May 28, 2012 at 06:06 AM
I agree that these types of threats by the FFRF are a waste of time. Too bad their resources aren't used elsewhere such as helping the poor. The first amendment when the constitution first came out was never intended to block local communities from supporting, frankly back then, the country was so new, no one really was worried about dribble and nonsense as this community liked this and this community preferred this. Our federal government has gotten too big and to intrusive.
Doc May 28, 2012 at 06:09 AM
It was intended to stop the Federal government from establishing a national religion. I don't see how a local community's war monument should make such a difference to you folks who call yourself so enlightened which I don't think you are. The insults you throw at people of a belief is somewhat incredulous, but I guess quoting one of your own above "your thick skulls" never got the notion of tolerance as what was the main idea of the first amendment to let it sink in. You folks are the one who like the Desiderata who are creating "noise and haste" on items that are historical and meaningful to the people of the community. The constitution also was created so that the wishes of the few didn’t always outweigh the wishes of the many.
Doc May 28, 2012 at 06:11 AM
Go placidly amidst the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter; for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
Doc May 28, 2012 at 06:11 AM
....But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe; no less than the trees and the stars, you have the right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labours and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul. With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.
Doc May 28, 2012 at 06:14 AM
I pray for and wish for peace for all. It does seem you folks who are non-religious want to turn folks who have a faith in something more into half citizens...that they cannot vote and act on their beliefs, but you can act on your ideology of non-belief? That's not justice either. I frankly see most of you as forms of smart-asses and probably not that intelligent, certainly not to the level of genius which somehow you equate yourself because you don't have a belief. but hey I'm an imperfect person of belief and readily acknowledge it. I'm sure one of you smarter than thou and wiser than thou atheists (which I doubt wholeheartedly and completely) will try to jump on that...frankly I'm unimpressed. This country was founded on tolerance and religious liberty. Your intolerance shows your bigotry. In the beginning local communities were allowed to show their support for a faith. Now you try to re-write history and say they weren't? ironically sad. I never hear an atheist with any form of humility...then they have the gall to perceive humility as weakness.


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