Community Events

Defying Progressive City Hall, volunteers raise giant flag to honor victims of 9/11

Despite the Barre City Council refusing to grant their request, volunteers raised this large American flag over Barre City Hall Park Saturday morning in remembrance of those who died September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York.

by Guy Page

Navy veteran Brian Judd and others raised a 20’ x 30’ American flag over Barre City Hall Park Saturday morning, Sept. 11 to honor the Americans who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack. They acted in defiance of City Councilors who Tuesday refused permission, with one councilor saying she considered the flag “intimidating.”

 Weeks ago Judd began making preparations with city officials to fly the flag across North Main Street at City Hall Park on 9/11, in hopes of reviving a longstanding Barre tradition of flying the flag on 9/11. As of last Tuesday, only permission from the City Council was lacking. 

He never got it. Videotape shows that after Councilor Michael Boutin moved to approve, Mayor Lucas Herring asked for a second to the motion. 

Silence. No one spoke for five long seconds, Herring called the motion dead for lack of a second. 

In a rambling explanation beginning at the 1:37:30 mark of the public access TV video, City Councilor Emel Cambel said she found the big flag “intimidating.” A member of the controlling Progressive faction of the city council, Cambel raised questions of insurance, which Judd said he will pay for himself. She said it was all happening too quickly, even though Judd’s been working with city officials for almost a month. She said the little flags on Main Street telephone poles are sufficient. And then she said: 

“I was trying to visualize what a big flag at the other end would look like. I personally find it completely intimidating. It just sends a message that I’m uncomfortable with. 

“I also have an uneasy feeling about the intent because over the past few years we’ve all seen, or at least I’ve seen, and believed that there have been some pretty ugly connotations that have been used to promote classes that are contrary to what I believe our national flag stands for. I think the flag has been used for some of those connotations that makes me really worried. I also feel like I’m being held hostage to a certain extent, that if I vote no that might be interpreted as my being anti-American,  and if I vote for it I think I’m supporting the possibility of some negative points of view.”

Progressive Barre City Council member Emel Cambel explains Tuesday, Sept. 7 why the American flag proposed to fly over Main Street is “intimidating” and flying it has “some pretty ugly connotations.”

Well, nuts to that, Judd thought to himself. 

“First I felt shock. Then I felt anger. Then I felt disappointed,” Judd said. “This was about honoring the 3000 people who died. And they made this divisive.”

The Barre native, Navy veteran (1978-1983) and son of recently deceased local funeral home owner and Army officer Bruce Judd called a few friends Wednesday morning and proposed a good old-fashioned flag wave at City Hall Park on the morning of September 11. 

People heard about and (thanks to public access TV) saw what happened. “A fire was lit,” Judd recalled. “People were pissed.”

In short order, a pole was custom fabricated to hold the flag, a crane was volunteered to raise it. As was a truck to transport the crane. Holes in the flag were custom-mended by Boisvert Shoe Repair, an owner-operated Main Street business. (The flag code permits mending damaged flags in order to fly them again.)

Judd wanted to keep everything on the down-low. “I  didn’t want any Antifa, BLM, any shutdown,” he explained. 

But word got around town. Judd wondered if the police would object. But there were no complaints from Barre’s brothers in blue of the 23 NYPD officers who died the day the Twin Towers fell.

The festivities were held in weather almost as beautifully as that impossibly perfect morning 20 years ago. Mayor Herring – unable to vote on Tuesday – showed his support by canceling his morning plans so that he could give a speech honoring those who died during the terrorist attacks. The crane raised the flag at 9 AM. A woman on a bullhorn led them in the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Councilor Cambel was nowhere to be seen. No one else seemed “intimidated.” People beeped horns in approval. Many pulled over their cars and joined. The impromptu crowd swelled to over 100. 

The huge success was no doubt disappointing to the disapproving city councilors, some of whom fought tooth and nail to fly the BLM flag in the park. But what they underestimated was the peaceful, principled civil disobedience of the organizers.  

They also didn’t know Judd’s very personal, very powerful reason for wanting to honor the fallen of 9/11. He was almost one himself. 

Brian Judd had a ticket to fly on American Airlines Flight #11, loaded with fuel to fly nonstop September 11 from Boston to LA, where he worked as an actor. But wanting to spend more vacation time in Vermont, he rescheduled his return for September 12.

The next day, Flight #11 slammed into the North Tower. But for a last minute decision, it would have been father Bruce Judd holding a funeral for his son Brian, and not the other way around. 

This is not the first time Judd and the Progressive City Council have tangled. Finishing behind a Progressive in the March election that he is contesting, Judd was a vocal opponent of the Council’s determination to fly the BLM flag and only the BLM flag under the U.S. and Vermont flags in City Hall Park. Judd and others successfully pushed for a resolution for a flag-of-the-month policy, in which BLM waved only during the first month.

Since Saturday, many Barre residents have expressed a desire to hold a recall election for Emel Cambel. “This is where this city is going as well as in our state and especially our country,” Barre resident and business owner Jean Gosselin said on Facebook. “This is the perfect example of how it starts at the local level.”

In the context of the local furor over the City Council’s failure to endorse the waving of the American flag, “this is how it starts” could mean the Council’s decision to not second the resolution. It could also refer to the start of a citizen movement to fight and eventually regain City Hall in the Granite City. 

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 20210911_161518-703x1024.jpg
Volunteers raise the flag
The use of the crane and the truck to deliver it to Barre’s City Hall Park were donated by volunteers.

Categories: Community Events

21 replies »

    • You’re welcome Patrick. Unfortunately we had to keep this Anonymous until the last moments to help keep Black Lives Matter and/or Antifa and/or 5 of the 6 Barre City City Councilors Jake Hemmerick, Emel Cambel, Teddy Waszazak, Erika Reil and Samn Stockwell from trying to shut down Our event. God Bless You, God Bless Barre and God Bless The United States Of America !

      • Thanks Brian ! None of the names that you mentioned as being Councilors sound familiar to me as being from Barre, and having spent the first 54 years of my life there you’d think I’d recognize one of two ?

  1. Thank you to all involved in this making this happen. As those on the Barre City Council have shown their true colors and their disdain for our Country – we need to show them they have no class and their childish behavior should no longer be tolerated or accepted. They deserve to be handed a binky and a blanky as they appear to have that level of intellectional development.

  2. Thank You Brian Judd and all who made the event of Honoring our Fallen on 9/11 possible! True American Patriotism is alive in Barre! They are real Americans, upholding the values of our Country, our God-given Liberty, and our Constitution! Thank you for honoring the men, women and their families who sacrificed that terrible day on 9/11. We Will Never Forget!

    Time now to clean house in Vermont! Drain the Vermont Swamp! This Marxism cannot stand in Vermont any longer, we will Not be denied our rights, our our God-given freedoms in America!

    Liberty is from God not men!

  3. This is what elections are for. Find the most electable candidates with their heads screwed on straight, and work like hell to elect those candidates and restore sanity to the City Council.

  4. Just so ALL my fellow patriotic Americans are aware, based upon past court cases, no one can be arrested or otherwise fined for flying an AMERICAN flag ANYWHERE!!!!!!

    NEVER let anyone tell you otherwise. There was NOTHING this board could have done to prevent this display & they KNOW it! NOTHING.

  5. Well done Brian. I was away for the weekend, but reading about it makes me proud there are many in Barre that love the flag, and sorry to say some who do not.

  6. Thank you Brian Judd. Very gratifying to read this story and see there are people who will stand up to anti-Americans who’ve wormed their way into our government. Bravo!!

  7. This makes me so happy! I was extremely upset to hear they weren’t flying the flag and the reason why, and I’m not even from Barre. I however am a proud native Vermonter who is sick of the progressive b.s. currently running (and ruining) our state. Thank you all for your service and patriotism!

  8. The decision by the City Council makes me really sad for the City of Barre. My favorite thing about Barre City folks is that they never seemed to feel the need to do the “politically correct” virtue signaling that happens just about everywhere else. Watching the events of all that happened on 9/11, I was then and still am amazed by those who rushed to help without regard for themselves. No virtue signaling on their watch. Thank God for them. Our flag is a symbol of hope…..and gratitude. Thank you to the folks who arranged for it to fly once again.

  9. Thank you Brian Judd for your service and for your decision to fly our symbol of AMERICAN FREEDOM!!! I don’t underdtand what is so intimidating about our flag, a flag that Americans died for. Maybe the good people of Barre need to vote her out because they find her “intimidating”!!!

  10. Thank you Brian Judd and others who flew the flag on 9.11 in Barre. I am proud of you and energized by what you did!
    It was good to meet you Brian at Celebrate America Friday night and talk about our mutual Barre hockey friends. I look forward to fighting together w you and winning this battle for America’s soul! Go God! Go America!

  11. “intimidating”???? Really… If that’s the case then Emel Cambel needs to leave Barre or even the state or country. BECAUSE there are A LOT of Good American Patriots Vermonters still in Barre and Vermont. and We will FIGHT to Keep our FLAG flying. As for the COWARDS who wouldn’t second the motion SHAME on you !!! I am a 73 yr old Vermonter, 8th generation Vermonter, My grandmother was half Native American. Everyone of my ancestors ;loved the American Flag and flown their flag with PRIDE. They fought under that flag for FREEDOM.
    INTIMIDATING come on Emel when did the flag ever hurt you? When did the flag ever say mean things to you? Look into a mirror and you will see the real intimidating one. Yor are a very SAD human Emel Cambel…
    I am sick and tired of these out of staters coming to my state and change it to a bad state. I miss the Vermont I grew up in..

  12. Emel Cambel might be woke, but the citizens of Barre are waking up! Time to send the petty tyrants we have in office in Vermont out of power via the way of King George! But peacefully.

  13. Thank you for your service and organizing this display of respect and honor for the 3000 victims Brian Judd!!! I certainly hope Emel Cambel and the rest of her ilk were intimidated enough to consider moving to a country they would feel more comfortable in, say…Cuba…

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