Derry Councilors launch Spacetown T-shirt campaign
DERRY — Wearing proper fitting Spacetown T-shirts, some town councilors recently discussed a proposal to build a monument for famed astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr.
Councilor Al Dimmock, who provided the T-shirts, said Tuesday night that the town should build the monument to commemorate Shepard and help educate young people on his achievements in space.
Dimmock said the passage of time has caused memories of Shepard’s space flight to fade. Young people, especially, know little if anything of the famed astronaut, Dimmock said.
“So, I feel that it’s something that we as members of this town council need to point out to the people that it is part of history,” Dimmock said.
The monument could be built on town property and commemorate Shepard and the Spacetown USA theme, said Dimmock, who came up with the idea for the T-shirts.
The councilors had to abort the initial launch of the T-Shirt campaign last month when they encountered a size problem. Dimmock said the shirts wouldn’t fit him or some other councilors.
Councilor Thomas Cardon brought up the T-shirts and the marketing campaign at the close of the meeting.
Cardon thanked Dimmock for the T-shirts.
“I think it’s a pretty cool idea and it shows the comraderie the council has and I really like that, I like how we all get along,” said Cardon. “But more importantly, I think what’s happened to the town is we’ve forgotten about Alan Shepard.”
Cardon said he has sent an email to NASA on the topic and is waiting to receive an answer. He also favors the idea of building some type of monument to Shepard.
“I just think there needs to be something done to commemorate him and just another reason to help bring people into town,” Cardon said.
A native of East Derry, Shepard became the first American in space during a flight on May 5, 1961. Following the flight, Derry held a parade that wound through the town in honor of Shepard, said town historian Richard Holmes. Another parade was held after Shepard’s second space flight to the moon, Holmes said.