On April 15th, 2013 one of America's greatest tragedies occured, the Boston Marathon Bombings. It forever has left a permanent scar on all of us as many people were injured and killed at this traditional annual event, the world's oldest marathon, due to a horrific act of terrorism and the manhunt that ensued.
During the 4 day search to capture the terrorists responsible, Dennis "D.J." Simmonds was one of the first Boston police officers to arrive on the scene of the final shootout. He suffered a serious head injury caused by a homemade explosive that was made by the Tsarnaev brothers when they threw these at the police officers. One brother lost his life, while the other was apprehended by the bravery and heroism shown by D.J. Simmonds and all the other officers that day.
While our nation recovered in the months following this horrific series of events, D.J. recovered as well eventually being able to return to his job and continue working as a police officer.
For his bravery that day, he was awarded the Schroeder Brothers Memorial Medal. He was aslo scheduled to receive the National Association of Police Organizations Top Cop award from President Obama on May 12, 2014.
However, tragically, D.J. had suffered permanent damage from the explosion and he passed away on April 10, 2014 making him the 5th Bombing casualty and the second Police Officer to die from the bombing events. D. J. left behind his mother Roxanne, his father Dennis, his sister Nicole and his beloved dog, Kane.
D.J. Simmonds is a true unsung hero who always knew he wanted to be a police officer from his days as a child in Randolph, MA and never questioned this role or responsibility.
Dennis "D.J." Simmonds should never be forgotten for the bravery he displayed. Spearheaded by the Randolph High School class of 1976, along with the Simmonds family, former teachers, classmates and community members, we are working to honor D.J. for his service to his hometown of Randolph, the city of Boston where he worked, and his country.
We invite all former Randolph High alumni, teachers, community members, police officers and all who appreciate and respect those members of society that protect us to help in perpetuating his memory with "The Dennis "D.J." Simmonds Unsung Hero Scholarship award". It is a scholarship to be awarded annually to a senior graduate who is pursuing a career in criminal justice or law enforcement. The candidate should demonstrate academic performance, involvement in extracurricular activities, and a need for financial assistance. This will perpetuate D.J. Simmonds name and memory in the community and will provide individuals with an opportunity to be a hero like D. J.
Thanks to the School Committee in Randolph, the gymnasium at Randolph High School will be named after D.J. Simmonds, a former basketball and football player at the school. The dedication ceremony will take place on December 8, 2017 and all are invited to attend.
The D.J. Simmonds Scholarship foundation, in addition to providing scholarships, plans on establishing an alumni association to guarantee that all Randolph High Alumni have an opportunity to stay connected. It also plans to provide academic support programs such as tutoring and counseling and after school and summer activities for Randolph middle and high scool students.
Donations of all amounts are appreciated and will benefit the Randolph Community, a community that Dennis "D.J." Simmonds grew up in and called home and will forever honor a true "Unsung Hero".
Dennis "D.J." Simmonds' memory will live on through the future heroism of this scholarship's recipients. Every unsung hero should always be honored and remembered.