HAVERHILL — Hillie pride and Boston Strong came together yesterday in front of Haverhill High School when students gathered to remember the victims of last year's Marathon bombings and celebrate a new metal sculpture honoring the school, the city and the Marathon.
Although it was windy and cold and many students were not dressed appropriately, they didn't fidget and they didn't fuss. Instead they stood quietly for 45-minutes and listened to every word spoken by their classmates, the artist behind the sculpture and school officials.
Dale Rogers, a Haverhill High graduate who followed his dreams and became a well-known artist, donated the sculpture as a way to thank the school that sparked his love of art while also paying tribute to the Boston Marathon.
He unveiled the nearly 11-foot tall piece, titled "Hillies," to an appreciative crowd.
Rogers built the triangular geometric wave-shaped sculpture out of two types of steel and topped it with a winged running shoe.
The school placed the tall piece in a fenced-in grassy area near the entrance to the gymnasium and planted flowers around it.
"We thought it would be nice to create a piece that was Marathon related, but it's primarily a Haverhill High School piece," Rogers said prior to the unveiling. "It's something we wanted to do for the school. A way to give back for the art training I received here as I'm making a great living in the arts. The last art class I took was here at Haverhill High."
With this year's Boston Marathon just days away, yesterday's unveiling was also an opportunity for the school to remember the victims of last year's Marathon bombings, the lives lost and those forever changed. Students came together as one and displayed the kind of Hillie pride and respectful demeanor that garnered them praise from School Superintendent James Scully.