Michael Sweet, right, a sophomore at Londonderry High School, shook hands with T.J. Cullinane, commander of the Gilman E. Sleeper Camp #60, Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, moments after being inducted into the organization during a ceremony at the Kelly Library in Salem last weekend. (COURTESY)
Londonderry sophomore has a passion for the past
That’s OK with Sweet, who said he’s been fascinated with all things historical for as long as he can remember.
A beloved history teacher encouraged Sweet along the way.
He said an eighth-grade class trip to Washington, D.C., where history teacher Steve Iarocci served as his chaperone, was particularly memorable. Iarocci gave him a written recommendation for the mostly-adult heritage organization.
“I think it’s important to keep the stories of our forefathers alive,” said Hansen, who attends the monthly meetings in Epping with his grandson.It was through the round table that the grandson and grandfather became acquainted with a local genealogist who assisted Sweet in recovering old family archives.
“Michael represents what we hope is a new and younger generation finally ready to embrace their heritage and work to ensure that the tremendous sacrifices made by their ancestors are never forgotten.”
Cullinane said Sweet is assisting the camp in establishing a new Facebook page and a Twitter account.
Sweet’s family heritage is, indeed, unique. His great-grandfather, James Robbins, was mortally wounded on his second day in the Battle of Gettysburg as he served as a Union soldier with the 19th Maine Infantry.