BISBEE — It was a beautiful ceremony Monday — Veterans Day — attended by many Bisbee residents and veterans who were honored by Bisbee Eagle Scout David Donahue with a new memorial wall with room to hold the names of 900 men and women who went to Bisbee High School and went on to serve in the Armed Forces.
Donahue thought the old Wall of Honor at BHS in front of the library which posts photos of those who now serve and have served in one of the branches of the military needed an upgrade.
“I wanted to do something more for our loved ones who served,” explained Donahue, a senior at BHS and a member of the wrestling and cross country teams. “The photos were faded and looking bad, so I wanted to do something new.”
He and his dad, Michael, who pointed out only 2 1/2 percent of scouts earn their Eagle Scout badges, came up with a plan to install walls in front of the gymnasium and place placards noting the names of those who went into military service which would survive the Arizona sun.
But a project of the size envisioned was going to take labor and money.
Troop 1’s scoutmaster Kerry Feldman and member of Bisbee’s Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 836 mentioned the membership really had no place to honor veterans. They wanted to help. And, just like that, things got a bit easier.
Then the Bisbee Unified School District had to be approached and approve establishment of the wall. A unanimous vote in favor cleared another hurdle.
Rudy Verdugo, of VFW Post 836, told the crowd after complimenting David Donahue, “This is an appropriate place to have it, right here at the high school. We have assembled to pay tribute to our friends and neighbors and family who fought for us to preserve our way of life. Freedom is our right and it needs to be protected. We really want to bring peace to the world. Maybe one day we will.”
Donahue’s mother, Celia, was also teary-eyed when talking about her four sons, who all made Eagle Scout and went on to serve in the military.
“He’s our last one until the grandchildren come along,” she said through tears. “We’re so proud of them. Proud of David.”
Donahue will graduate in a matter of months and plans to enlist in the U.S. Army. He will strive to earn the designation of Army Ranger. He said he thought what he has learned in scouting will be of benefit. The troop went on many field trips and taught some survival techniques.
“I like a challenge. The adrenaline rush,” said Donahue of his drive to make it as an Army Ranger. “I want to be satisfied with myself and what I accomplish in life.”