A Vietnam veteran and Barrackville native was honored Monday as a bridge in the town was dedicated to the fallen solider.
The bridge that crosses Buffalo Creek near Pine Grove-Barrackville Road, locally called the Maple Point Bridge, was dedicated to U.S. Army Pvt. Harry Sine Jr., who died in the Vietnam War on Dec. 25, 1969. He was in Vietnam for eight days before his death.
Ben Sine, who is Harry Sine’s son, was 1 year old when his father passed away. Sine was in Barrackville on Monday to reveal the sign dedicating the bridge in his father’s honor.
Sine said having the bridge dedicated to his father creates a memory he’ll never forget.
“We haven’t really had any memorials,” he said. “We’ve been to the one near (the wave pool), but now we have this.”
While listening to Delegate Linda Longstreth, D-Marion, read a resolution from the state of West Virginia officially dedicating the bridge to his father, Sine couldn’t help but get emotional.
“There are not a lot of memories for me because I missed out on a lot, so today it brings back a lot of that,” he said.
Along with Longstreth, Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, state Sen. Bob Beach, D-Monongalia, and Barrackville mayor Roy Meeks III spoke at the dedication. Veterans from the Marion County Vietnam Veterans Memorial came to honor their fellow serviceman.
Sine said he appreciated everyone taking the time to honor his father.
“Anything like this for veterans is heartwarming and I think they all deserve it,” he said. “I didn’t realize how many people were coming, and it makes me proud of my father.”
Richard Boore, president of the Marion County Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was a friend of Harry Sine and was instrumental in getting the bridge dedicated to his fellow solider.
“It took a year to get his name on this bridge,” he said.
Boore said the Marion and Monongalia County delegations were also a big part in honoring Sine. He said it was nice having a bridge dedicated to Harry Sine, but wishes he could do more.
“I wish I could do more just to honor the guy who gave his life,” Boore said.
In Longstreth’s remarks during the dedication, she said it’s always special when the delegation can honor Vietnam veterans.
“It was a very difficult time for them,” she said. “And they didn’t get the appreciation for the sacrifices they all made. Maybe this is one step that we can make up for it.”
The resolution Longstreth read gave a brief biography on Sine. He was involved in the Order of the Arrow, Boy Scouts and played guitar in a local band called the Silver Beat Band. Sine attended Barrackville Elementary School and was a 1967 graduate of Fairmont Senior High School. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1969.
Meeks said having the bridge dedicated to a Vietnam veteran in Barrackville is a way of saying thank you to all Vietnam veterans.
“The Vietnam veterans never got their due, and I’m glad this can be a part of honoring them,” he said. “They most certainly deserve it.”
Email Emily Gallagher at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.