BURRILLVILLE – First responders, family and friends of a World War II veteran and well-known local businessman lined up along Chapel Street on Sunday, March 7 for a distanced celebration of his 95th birthday.
George Barber, a lifelong Burrillville resident waved to visitors outside the VFW Binns building, as dozens of vehicles passed by to wish him well.
A banner acknowledging his status as a “Hometown Hero,” an effort by American Legion Berard-Desjarlais Post 88 to acknowledge the town’s living veterans from U.S. conflicts of the 1940s and 1950s, was taken down from it’s usual place in the bridge in Harrisville and hung outside the property.
Barber a former member of the Burrillville Sewer Commission, is known for his work at John E. Pomfret Ford Sales, Pascoag Auto Parts, George A.Barber Auto Supply, Chapel Street Auto Sales and Barber’s Sunoco.
He was also a firefighter for the Oakland/Mapleville Fire District and member of the Burrillville Chamber of Commerce. He sponsored Burrillville Youth Hockey, Burrillville Little League and Burrillville/Gloucester Youth Soccer.
Barber’s family organized the drive-by celebration, putting a call out to local veteran groups and emergency personnel, and they responded, with trucks forming a long line along the road to give their regards.
Visitors were asked to toot their horns, and decorate their vehicles with balloons and homemade signs.
*Photos provided by Wayne Barber