Brian Zecchinelli, the Wayside Restaurant (a longtime client), and Rock of Ages were featured in Lessons from the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic by Emmy-award winning journalist Martha Teichner. The segment aired March 6, 2022 on CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley. Quite an honor for little Vermont!
Back in 2017-2018, Brian and Karen Zecchinelli, owners of the Wayside Restaurant, worked with Rock of Ages to commission a 4-ton granite “Reflection Bench”. The bench would serve as a memorial to commemorate the death of Brian’s grandfather, Germinio Zecchinelli, and the other 50+ million worldwide who lost their lives during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. Germinio was one of 200 victims from Barre, Vermont.
On October 26, 2018, the Zecchinellis had the monument installed on the grounds of Hope Cemetery in Barre. One-hundred years later, it now serves as a reminder of the impact the Spanish Flu had on the world.
At the end of the CBS Sunday Morning segment, John Barry, the New York Times Best Selling Author of The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, notes, “There will be another pandemic. If we allow the lessons that could be learned from this not to be learned, then we are really fools”.
One of the only Spanish Flu memorials in the country, the “Reflection Bench” at Hope Cemetery is there to help us not forget, and to learn from our history.
You can visit the memorial at the historic Hope Cemetery in Barre, Vermont, the “Granite Capital of the World”. Established in 1895, the 65-acre Hope Cemetery was designed and planned by the renowned landscape architect Edward P. Adams. When the Spanish Flu hit the area, many knew that death was imminent and designed their own tombstones. This tradition has carried on and nearly 75 percent of the tombstones found there were carved by the occupants of the graves they sit above.