Forest Lake’s pavilion, named in honor of lives lost Sept. 11, was recently renamed in memory of Firefighter Shawn C. Danahy Sr., who passed away Dec. 24, 2023. It will remain in honor of those who died in the terrorist attacks as well.

When vandals burned down the previous pavilion at Forest Lake several years ago, Firefighter Danahy took charge and was “instrumental” in rebuilding it with his fellow firefighters, saving the city thousands of dollars, according to Fire Chief Tim Sheehy. It was a team project and Danahy never claimed any credit for himself.

“From the Methuen firefighters, we’d like to present you with this plaque for Shawn in his memory and for him helping out in so many other projects with the Fire Department,” Sheehy said to Danahy’s widow Faith, as the crowd gathered for last month’s Fishing Derby looked on.

Mrs. Danahy responded, “Thank you, everybody. This is very special. We are very blessed. We’ve had some good memories up here (at Forest Lake), from the time we met up until now.”

Sheehy gave a brief description of the rebuilding of the former wooden structure: “Several years ago, some kids were partying and lit a fire in a 55-gallon metal barrel. It got out of control. … The police found out who was involved and one of the kids happened to be a neighbor of (Fire) Deputy Dan Donahue. The families, as part of the court decision, agreed that they would have to pay for the materials to rebuild it. Shawn got everything going to rebuild the pavilion back up. Several firefighters, along with the young people who were responsible for setting the fire, were part of the (rebuilding project).”

The plaque reads: “This pavilion is dedicated to the memory of Methuen Firefighter Shawn Danahy, a proud, brave, and dependable First Responder, and to our fallen brothers and sisters and the victims of September 11, 2001. Dedicated May 11, 2024”

Starting June 26, Forest Lake will be open to Methuen residents daily, 10am-7pm, through summer.