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Ray Duckler
Concord police officer Matt Casey marches in as part of the honor guard at the  New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers Memorial yesterday to honor all the law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: Fallen officers honored, led by a little girl with an old hat

Friday, May 22, 2015

One person, more than any other, stood out yesterday, her eyes hidden beneath a piece of history. One person, sitting in the front row, looked like the relative of a fallen officer, in a sea of relatives of fallen officers who sat near the corner of North State and Capitol streets. The tan police hat, obviously from another era, worn …

Ray Duckler: Bet on Betsy, founded by kids, rocks in race

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Betsy Segal arrived in the conference room yesterday at 5:05 p.m., about an hour before the race, and slipped on a T-shirt made especially for her. “I feel so official now,” said Segal, shortly before the Rock ‘N Race 5K. “I didn’t know about this whole team thing. It’s emotional. I hope I …

Ray Duckler: Patriots owner Robert Kraft caves, leaving a foul smell

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Inhale deeply. Do you smell it, the pungent odor of B.S. that’s worked its way from San Francisco to Concord? My eyes are watering, my betta fish went belly up and I saw a bunch of cows in Penacook mooing in disgust. That’s because Patriots owner Bob Kraft said he’s going to accept …

Ray Duckler: Running the Rock ‘N Race for David, Brigit and Danica

Saturday, May 16, 2015

They’re called David’s Angels, but let’s add two people to the mix. Let’s add Brigit McKeough and Danica Gage. That tells the whole story, the one about the parents who died too young, the little girl who’s since …

Ray Duckler: Deflategate? Tom Brady? Patriots lineman won’t tackle topic during visit to Concord

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I went hunting yesterday, for the elephant in the room. Or in this case, in the Abbot-Downing School gym. Sure enough, there was Dumbo, or Mr. Snuffleupagus, or Horton, or whichever name you choose, camouflaged by a New …

Ray Duckler: For Greg Grappone, mild manners said it all

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

You could almost feel Greg Grappone cringing at the attention. He was unpretentious and unassuming, never seeking the spotlight, always looking to fly beneath the radar, despite a highly visible surname that stared back at him, everywhere in …

Ray Duckler: Students and parents congregate to speak one language

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The food tables at Rundlett Middle School’s Around the World day made me hungry. The kids there made me hopeful. Kids like Rebecca Bamidele, an eighth-grader at Rundlett and a volunteer for the school’s Student Ambassadors program. I …

Ray Duckler: Once, boxers didn’t merely take the money and run

Friday, May 8, 2015

Check the photo above this column. That’s Joe Frazier hitting Muhammad Ali with a left hook during their 1971 heavyweight title bout. That snapshot, that fight, will last forever in our minds, as will others. The bout between …

Ray Duckler: An earthquake, far away, is felt close to home

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Not many world events could resonate with Bom Rai while he tries to build a new life in a new country. It took an earthquake to do that. That’s why Bom, a Nepalese refugee, attended a vigil last …

Greg Grappone, a father and survivor, dies at 35

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Greg Grappone, whose family began selling cars in the region nearly 100 year ago and now owns dealerships that line Route 3A in Bow, died yesterday from complications related to a rare form of cancer. He was 35. …

Ray Duckler: Finding the good in something very bad

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding the positives here isn’t easy. Tomorrow night, though, starting at Merrimack Valley High School, you’re invited to participate in something good that came from something awful. This is the 10th edition of the Angels 5K Road Race, …

Ray Duckler: A great trip for the Greatest Generation

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Navy veteran blamed his tears on pollen. Pollen, Roger Hamel of Claremont said, caused his eyes to mist like the wind-blown spray from the memorial’s two fountains. Not the 1,000 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans killed …

Ray Duckler: Clinton comes to town, spin cycle and all

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jeff Zeleny, CNN’s senior Washington correspondent, got in close yesterday and threw his best punch. Hillary Clinton, as she often does, ducked, then left the ring without a scratch. It’s a tactic that’s worked for Clinton during the …

Ray Duckler: She’s as strong as ever

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Want to get on Pat Pelletier’s bad side? Suggest she use a wheelchair, or a cane, or a walker. That’ll do it. She doesn’t care that she lost the lower portion of both legs when a trolley ran …

Ray Duckler: Two years to the day, the doctor is in

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today is David Hirsch’s anniversary. It’s been two years since the Concord doctor ran the wrong way on Boylston Street, toward the chaos and blood and death, near perhaps the most recognizable yellow stripe in the country. Two …