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MV High senior seeks recognition for those who served

A design by Merrimack Valley High School senior Cameron Bailey for a memorial to firefighters, police and paramedics in the local cemetery.

A design by Merrimack Valley High School senior Cameron Bailey for a memorial to firefighters, police and paramedics in the local cemetery.

Cameron Bailey, whose family has a long history of fighting fires, wants to add to the parade that honors recently-deceased rescue and safety personnel each June.

As part of his senior project at Merrimack Valley High School, Bailey is raising money so a monument can be placed in Woodlawn Cemetery, the final stop on an annual route that moves through Boscawen and Penacook.

The tradition, which began more than 100 years ago, commemorates police officers, firefighters and emergency medical services personnel throughout Merrimack County. The triangular granite monument will cost $5,000; to date, Bailey has raised more than $2,600, including $600 from a car wash and money from door-to-door presentations and donations, both private and corporate.

The written portion for the project, running between 15 and 30 minutes, will be presented to students and faculty later this month. The

monument, already designed through computer imagery by Bailey, will be made by a local company and placed in a pre-selected area of the cemetery shortly before the parade, held on the first Sunday each June.

Bailey’s respect for and interest in the parade stems from his family background, rich in community service through local fire departments. Relatives in the Boscawen Fire Department and Penacook Rescue Squad include cousins, his uncles Mark and Mike, and his father, Dix.

Bailey serves in a junior program in Salisbury and plans on joining his local firefighting team after graduating high school in three months.

Why did you choose this for your senior project? When I first marched in the parade two years ago, we gathered around at the cemetery and we did a moment of silence and we put the flags in the center, and there was nothing there. I felt kind of shocked that there wasn’t anything there, because there’s nothing permanent besides the flags, and the flags are just picked up after. So I figured it would mean a lot to people who have lost someone and to the community to have something permanent there that will be seen every year, any time of year, to honor those who have passed on.

When did you begin your project? You have your entire senior year, but I started mine when I was a junior because that’s when I first marched in the parade, and I knew raising money for the memorial was going to take a very long time.

Was it difficult designing the memorial? When I first thought of the project, I made about 20 designs, and that was after going out to cemeteries and memorials and taking pictures and researching them. I’d sketch them on my computer, printed them and chose the one I liked best and thought would fit other people’s opinions. My original design was going to cost around $7,000, but that much funding was not going to come in, so I went with a plan B design and ended up liking that one even more, and it was cheaper at $5,000.

Can you describe your design? It’s a 3-D equilateral triangle that will be close to 26 inches tall by 24 inches wide on each face. Each side face will have its own shield: one for EMS, one for the fire department and one for law enforcement. And I’ll have an engraved New Hampshire state, and on top of the New Hampshire state will be my quote for the project.

And that quote will say? e_SDLqIn memory of those who have served and dedicated their time for their communities and others, we thank you.”

For details on the project and how to contribute, visit sites.google.com/site/fleememorialproject/.

RAY DUCKLER

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