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Lowell’s WW I Doughboy Statue Should Remain Where It Is

November 12, 2018

My great uncle, John Leo Connolly, along with 35 of his friends and neighbors from Lowell’s Acre neighborhood, gave the ultimate sacrifice to our great nation. John Leo died in the last weeks of World War I, on Oct. 23, 1918. This year is the 100-year anniversary of his death.

John and 35 of Lowell’s finest young men have their names etched on The Doughboy Statue in Lowell’s Connolly Square, named after John.

I read in The Sun recently of the debate about moving statue to another location, because of a 9/11 Memorial that the Lowell Fire Department wants to build in the same area where The Doughboy Statue sits today.

I think building a first responders memorial is an excellent idea. We cannot thank the first responders enough for what they did and their sacrifice. Nor can we ever forget Lowell’s 36 Acre young men who fought and died in the Great War.

In my opinion, downtown Lowell would be a perfect place for the First Responders 9/11 Memorial. Because it would be centrally located, it would be seen by residents and visitors at all major Lowell events.

I looked up how some other cities and towns have built 9/11 memorials in different ways and in various common areas throughout their communities.

Framingham built a beautiful garden. Tewksbury built a beautiful memorial in front of the Town Library and on Route 38. Wilmington did a beautiful job in the courtyard of its new high school. Westford built a beautiful memorial in the community public safety courtyard.

And Boston built a Garden of Remembrance 9/11 Memorial in the Public Gardens.

I have read that Lowell is planning to build a new high school, so why not consider a site there for a 9/11 Memorial?

If it is of the opinion that the First Responders 9/11 Memorial must only be put behind the Lowell Firemen’s Club, which I do not agree, why can’t it co-exist with the existing location of Lowell Doughboy WWI Memorial?

Moving The Doughboy Statute from its square and its original place of honor -- and the intended location of Lowell’s forefathers and veterans -- is plain wrong.

Barry Connolly

Wells, ME

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