KANE’S KORNER – Eagle Scout Candidate Scott Johnston Restores Dracut Memorial Park and Park at American Legion Post 315


Kane went on a field trip to meet Scott Johnston, a Troop 80 Life Scout at the Leo C. Roth Dracut American Legion Post 315. Scott who is 16 years old and a high school sophomore completely restored the Schiripo Brothers Memorial Park on the Dracut American Legion property to an eye appealing dedication to the seven brothers whose financial support and manual labor led to the building of the post at its current location. Scott explained to Kane that the park was overgrown and tired looking.

Scott knew the area had a lot of potential to be a great place to reflect and visit if it had a much-needed face lift. Also, the Schiripo brothers could be honored by having their Memorial plaque replaced and restored to its original state and the grounds manicured. Scott took a lot of pride in completing this Eagle Scout service project. Serving his community and military members is a value close to his heart.

So, Kane wants you to know more about Scott since he is both hard working but also humble. Scott has exactly 4 Merit Badges left to finish his Eagle Scout, which everyone knows is quite an accomplishment, paved by hard work and dedication to fellow scouts and community. What strikes Kane is that Scott is 16 years old and half way through his high school career. Scott also has his mind set on attending the Air Force Academy upon graduation from high school.

He is doing everything within his power to make that happen by tackling his academics with pride, playing both lacrosse and soccer, and of course very close to reaching Eagle Scout. The Restoration of the Dracut American Legion Park will be part of the several accomplishments completed in achieving his Eagle Scout.

Kane did some research to find out more about the Schiripo Brothers. He found an article written by Hiroko Sato published in the Lowell Sun on September 27, 2010. Kane learned that Fred Schiripo Army Staff Sergeant parachuted into Europe on June 6, 1944, on D-Day. In 1960 he took out a loan to construct the American Legion Post 315 at its current location in Dracut. His brothers jumped in to help.

Fred Schiripo had 7 brothers and all but one served in foreign wars. That brother served as a Dracut police officer. He also had 8 sisters. Kane read that the Schiripo family knew the importance of the veterans and their families needing a place to gather. They were known to frequent the legion with their family and extended family.

Kane thought you must be wondering how Scott got all this work done on his own. It sounds like there were many steps. Besides the research on restoring signs, and ordering materials, there was the hard labor of restoring the grounds. Scott worked diligently on this as well as recruiting members of his Scout troop, his family, and members of the American Legion to help. To lead this project Scott did research, communicating and networking with businesses, ordering supplies, running a work crew, and the manual labor of the project. “Job well done Scott. I can’t wait to watch your journey.” said Kane.

So, Kane likes to talk a lot, but for this column it seems the pictures are more important. Thank you Scott for your dedication to your community and knowing the importance of history by honoring the brave men and women who served.

Woof, Kane Peaslee,

Columnist Valley Patriot ◊