Fulton Celebrates Community Hero On Anniversary Of D-Day

Addyson King, a fifth-grader at Volney Elementary, speaks in honor of Carlton W. Barrett, a Fulton native and Medal of Honor recipient who is now acknowledged each year on the anniversary of the Normandy invasions. King’s words were part of a larger ceremony that brought together Fulton community members.

FULTON – Members of the Fulton community recently gathered at Volney Elementary School to honor the late Carlton W. Barrett – a Fulton resident who earned the Medal of Honor for his valiant efforts during the Normandy invasions of World War II. This year’s ceremony coincided with the 80th anniversary of the invasions, drawing attention to the thousands of individuals who participated in one of the most monumental moments of modern history.

The ceremony marks the second annual Carlton W. Barrett Day, first officially recognized by the Fulton City School District and the City of Fulton in 2023. Recognition of the day has been a passion project of Bill Cahill, a fifth-grade teacher at Volney who has worked tirelessly to acknowledge servicepersons within Fulton schools and the community at large. Carlton W. Barrett Day – and Cahill himself – were also recognized by assemblyman Will Barclay in Albany last year.

“Barrett, the men of D-Day and all those who serve continue to be role models,” noted Cahill. “They show us perseverance, fortitude, compassion, humility and what it’s like to serve something larger than yourself.”

Carlton W. Barrett Day is now recognized in Fulton every June 6 – the date of the D-Day invasions which also hold their 80th anniversary this year. Within FCSD schools, students learn about their local hero and his service to the community and country. This year was the second to bring Fulton residents together in an official ceremony commemorating Barrett and his life.

The ceremony began with words of greeting from Volney Principal Elizabeth Stoddard. Cahill continued the introduction by welcoming local officials and members of Barrett’s family – many travelling from out of state for the occasion. Though not in attendance, Assemblyman Barclay sent a video to voice his own support of the event and deliver an official citation on Carlton W. Barrett Day.

Three of Cahill’s fifth grade students – Eli Stoddard, Maddy Meeks, and Addyson King – read self-written pieces recognizing either the importance and heroism of veterans or the life and character of Barrett himself.

FCSD teacher Bill Cahill speaks to Fulton community members during a recent ceremony honoring the life and service of Carlton W. Barrett, a Fulton native and Medal of Honor recipient who is now acknowledged each year on the anniversary of the Normandy invasions.

Other speakers continued the event, including Fulton Mayor Jim Rice and FCSD Superintendent Brian Pulvino. Special recognition was given to 101-year-old local veteran Keith Baker and former Fulton council member Ryan Taylor, whose years of service were honored and celebrated. Family members shared anecdotes of Barrett’s life and character while GRB teacher Nate Fasulo shared his own thoughts on family and community members who had served in various moments of US history.

The ceremony also introduced the first year of the Carlton W. Barrett Day Founder’s Award, offered this year to retired Fulton educator Rick Bush. It was Bush that introduced Cahill to Carlton Barrett more than a decade ago.

With such success, Cahill is already thinking about the future of the event. “We’re looking forward to next year in honoring Barrett, the men of D-Day and other Fultonians who have served something bigger than themselves in the armed forces,” said Cahill. “They are the heroes that walk amongst us.”

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