PDT Staff Writer
A first responders monument will soon be erected in New Boston in time for a 9/11 memorial service — located in front of Daymar College on Rhodes Avenue and named after the late Rocky Duncan and Tony Applegate.
“For the past three years we’ve had a first responders and veterans parade in May. In December here at Daymar, we hold a veterans event,” said Mike Bell, Daymar College spokesman said. “Me and Mike Payton was thinking one day, it would be nice to have a monument that would be part of those festivities.”
Bell said the new monument would not take away from the monument in Millbrook Park. He said once complete the monument will show the symbols of EMS, police, fire departments and all of the military branches.
“This is going to be fantastic because we have the opportunity to recognize these people for what they do each and everyday. To have this monument on Rhodes Avenue will be great. People will be able to see it everyday,” Bell said. “Me and Mike (Payton, New Boston Councilman) presented the idea to Dave Harding at Portsmouth Monument and he ended up donating the monument to us. We then went to Portsmouth Block and they donated the necessary block.”
New Boston Village Councilman Mike Payton said everything is in place for the monument except for the construction.
“As far as getting everything here, that’s taken care of. It’s getting someone to put it together. As soon as we lock that down, that’s when we’ll get started,” Payton said. “It really needs to get started next week to make it by Sept. 11, we are also expected to get a whole bunch of rain. That could set us back a little.”
Bell said Dave Andrews, a New Boston veteran of the Vietnam War, will be presented his medals during the Sept. 11 ceremony.
“This is one of the reasons we are trying to push to get this monument completed. So we can have a ceremony,” Bell said.
Bell said the Dunkin/Applegate Memorial touches two aspects, being a first responder and a veteran memorial.
“Rocky Dunkin, lost his life this year working with Nile Township. He was a firefighter for New Boston and I knew Rocky personally, so it was fitting to name it after him,” Bell said. “Tony Applegate of Portsmouth was one of the first victims of friendly fire in Dessert Storm. He died in Dessert Storm in 1991.”
Bell said once the monument is erected people will have the opportunity to purchase memorial bricks that will surround the monument. It will be 12 and a half feet long and three and a half feet wide, and three feet tall with three flag poles surrounding it.
“As we look back over our history of this country, our first responders have always been there. They dedicated their lives and service to this country, we should recognize them at all time. I’m very grateful that we have people that can see a bigger picture,” said Jim Warren, New Boston Mayor.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.