Duty, Honor, Country & Friends

Although I have had very little experience in reporting, I have never had any complications with taking a situation and writing a story about it: until now. As I sit here staring at a handful of photographs and recapping today’s dedication ceremony, I find myself struggling to formulate sentences deserving enough to describe Sean Cardwell’s Eagle Scout Project. For those who do not know, the project is a memorial consisting of five granite columns representing each branch of the military, honoring Londonderry High School alumni who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

It was almost a year ago when I first heard about Sean’s project. At the time, as a single granite structure in its early stages of planning, it seemed like a very simple idea. Since then, the project evolved into a more complicated structure that involved a lot more work—and a lot more press coverage—than what was originally anticipated.

As a close friend of Sean’s, I know that such an achievement was not an easy task for him. The amount of planning, organizing, hard work, and stress that he sacrificed his time—and even sleep—to put towards the completion of the memorial is simply unbelievable for a seventeen year old high school senior. When I first saw the finished structure, a wave of emotions hit me, rendering me speechless. It has become impossible to communicate the full impact and response to the memorial; Sean has achieved his goal of building something people would remember that will last. Thank you, Sean, for this incredible memorial. We’re all proud of you.

Click for more images

View more pictures of the event in the Londonderry News Darkroom.

Lauren is a staff photographer for the Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center while attending Londonderry High School. Londonderry, New Hampshire has a very active scouting history with a high percentage of young men reaching the rank of Eagle Scout.

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An Extraordinary Builder

During the course of my career as a Building Code Official, some 33 years now, I have had opportunity to meet a number of wonderful builders. They were conscientious builders, dedicated to their craft, and genuinely concerned about the quality of the finished product.

Since my tenure as your Building Official here in Londonderry I have had the unique opportunity, or I should say honor, to meet some extraordinary dedicated individuals involving some out-of-the-ordinary construction projects.

Although I had no direct involvement in any of the projects, some of these builders visited my office to speak with me about construction methods and code requirements as they planned for their projects. They were genuinely concerned about the quality of the finished product.

One recent project in particular seemed somewhat different from the others I had seen. After hearing about it, I had to visit the job site while construction was underway, just to observe.

Richard (left) and Sean (right) take a moment to look over the project.

On this one hot August day I came upon a scene of eager, hard-working people buzzing about in the courtyard of our high school, digging, spreading mulch and stone. I noticed five granite pillars standing vertically, firmly set in the ground in a semi-circular pattern. A sixth length of granite was set level and horizontally on its edge laid before the five pillars.

Having some experience with this small group of builders, I began thinking about a number of other similar projects around town that I’ve had the pleasure to observe. All well planned, and well built; a ATV bridge over a stream crossing, a ramp for an accessibility entrance at a church, an information kiosk at one of the ball fields, just to name a few.

A short time later I was approached by a familiar face. This tall slender young man in dirty jeans and sweaty tee-shirt took a moment from his labor, removed his work glove and firmly shook my hand.

With a broad smile Sean Cardwell welcomed me to his Eagle Scout Project. With enthusiasm and pride he proceeded to explain that he had planned this project as a memorial to each branch of our Armed Forces, dedicated to the individuals who are serving our country, and to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in their service. This young man was indeed a dedicated builder.

Sean Cardwell's Eagle Scout Project memorializes all Armed Forces veterans.

Being a Marine Corps veteran myself, and former Scout Master, I was touched by the thoughtfulness of this young man who unselfishly committed his efforts to dedicate his scouting project in honor our service men and women. For his effort he will be honored with the award of scouting’s highest rank of Eagle Scout.

This is yet another unique construction project for our community by a group of extraordinary builders. Well planned and well built. A shining example of what the Boy Scouts of America are truly all about. Thank you, Sean, and congratulations on your achievement. A job well done.

With Honor,
Richard G. Canuel
Senior Building Inspector

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Local Student and Scout Seeks Help in Creating Memorial

Londonderry High School Senior and Life Scout in Troop 109 Sean Cardwell is currently working on his eagle project. An active member in both scouting and school, Cardwell has decided to construct a memorial to those locals who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

The monument, inspired by Londonderry High School Assistant Principal Arthur Psaledas, will honor three high school Alumni who have lost their lives serving their country. Inscribed on the memorial will be the names of Peter “PJ” Sora, Eric Currier, and Peter Sohm.

Cardwell has graduated from both the National Youth Leadership Training program and the North East Regional National Advanced Youth Leadership Experience program. He has also worked as part of the staff in both of these programs. In school Cardwell is an active member of the Drama Club and Marching Band. He has also acted as videographer for school shoots including but not limited to the Adult Education Graduation and the Baccalaureate Awards.

After proposing and receiving approval from the Eagle Board, Cardwell began fundraising for the memorial. Looking to the community for support, Cardwell hopes to raise enough funds to offset the total project cost of $2,000. If you wish to support Sean in completing this projects, contact him at sean.m.cardwell(at)gmail.com.

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