Vietnam War veterans plaque unveiled in Rochester Town Hall

Mar 29, 2024

ROCHESTER — On National Vietnam Veterans Day, a new plaque in Rochester Town Hall dedicated to those from Rochester who served during the Vietnam War was unveiled.

The plaque and the people who helped to create it were honored during a Friday, March 29 gathering in the entryway to Rochester Town Hall where the plaque hangs.

Rochester resident and veteran Dave Watling led the effort to replace Rochester’s Vietnam War veterans plaque. Old Colony Regional Vocational Technical High School carpentry and machine shop students created the new plaque.

“This is something that a Rochester resident, and a veteran, thought that needed to be done,” said Christopher Gerrior, veterans service officer of the Tri-Town Veterans Office. “He talked to some people and he made it happen, and I think it’s great,”

Old Colony students Davi Coelho, Nick Fringuelli, William Fringuelli, Wyatt Smiley and Alec Arsenault worked on the project.

Watling said he was “impressed with the young people that worked on” the plaque.

“These young kids kind of lifted my spirits,” Watling said. “I’m proud to say they’re in the same town as me.”

Coelho said it was “really nice” to see the plaque hanging in Rochester Town Hall.

The carpentry process for the project entailed custom molding and cutting the wood, among other steps, according to Coelho.

It also required a fair amount of math to figure out the plaque’s spacing and how it fit in the area where it hangs inside Rochester Town Hall, according to Old Colony teacher Doug Sims.

“We had to find out all the angles to make everything fit nice,” Coelho said.

Watling at one point came in and showed the Old Colony students working on the project Rochester’s original Vietnam War veterans plaque, according to Sims.

“You look at something like this and you don’t realize how much really goes into it,” Sims said.