People of Northwest Public Radio
Northwest Regional News
Tue January 31, 2012
Ferndale Marine remembered
FERNDALE, Wash. - A burial mass was held on Monday for Captain Daniel Bartle.
The 27-year-old from the small town north of Bellingham was killed along with five other U.S. Marines earlier this month . Their helicopter crashed in Afghanistan's Helmand province.
John Ryan reports from Bellingham.
Six of Bartle’s classmates from the U.S. Naval Academy carried his casket down the aisle of the Catholic church he attended growing up.
Candles and stained glass windows shone down on his casket inside Bellingham’s Church of the Assumption.
The burial mass culminated a weekend of large public ceremonies in memory of Bartle. A motorcade from the Bellingham airport on Saturday and a remembrance of his life on Sunday night at Ferndale High School were attended by hundreds.
On January 19, he became one of more than 1800 U.S. service members to die in Afghanistan.
Dan Bartle’s family members say he was piloting a cargo helicopter when it crashed and that the military told them it was a mechanical failure, not an enemy action.
Bartle’s own helicopter squadron was back in Hawaii after finishing its Afghan deployment when another squadron asked for volunteers to join it in Afghanistan.
John Bartle: “And Dan without batting an eye said, ‘yes, I’ll go.”
John Bartle is Dan’s brother.
Bartle: “He was on track to do three deployments in two years, which is unheard of.”
Nathan Cox of Seattle was one of Bartle’s high school friends in Ferndale. Cox says his friend was very smart and very humble.
Cox: “He loved to fly, he was happy to go into flight school and fly helicopters and go into the Marines. But he could have done whatever with his life, but he chose to serve.”
Capt. Daniel Bartle is survived by his parents in Ferndale and siblings in Mt. Vernon and in California.