Scores of Bostonians traveled to Washington, D.C. last weekend to watch as the name of a son of Dorchester was added to a memorial on the National Mall dedicated to fallen law enforcement personnel.
Ricky Dever was a Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department officer who was stabbed to death as he tried to stop a Charlestown criminal from hurting others in 2005. Dever, 35, was off-duty when he and other patrons attempted to stop the killer, Francis Lang, who was creating a disturbance inside a Charlestown barroom. Lang is serving a sentence for first-degree murder.
Trysha Ahern, who grew up with Dever and his family in the close-knit Ronan Park section of Dorchester, said she was surprised that she could not find Ricky’s name on the memorial during a visit last year. Ahern contacted the committee that manages the memorial and was told that Dever’s case had never been brought to their attention.
Ahern submitted a nomination— and with the help of Suffolk County Sheriff's Department and Sheriff Steve Tompkins— won approval. His name was engraved on the wall and dedicated— along with many others from around the nation— in a moving candlelight ceremony on Saturday.
Trysha could not make it — but her brother Teddy and Ricky's brother Brendan— were on hand, along with more than 50 representative of the sheriff’s department and Ricky’s mom, Kathleen.
"I would like to give our heartfelt thanks to Trysha Ahern for taking the time and effort to make this happen," said Kathleen Dever. "And thank you to Sheriff Tompkins and so many of Ricky's co-workers and friends. Our appreciation goes out to Edzo Kelly and Corrine Griffin."
“The Devers an adorable family and this was heart-wrenching to lose Ricky,” said Trysha Ahern.
Ricky’s name joins that of another Ronan Park “kid”— Mark S. Charbonnier, a Massachusetts State Trooper who was killed while on duty in 1994— on the memorial.