LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR MURRAY JOINS LEOMINSTER COMMUNITY TO DEDICATE THE JONATHAN ROBERGE MEMORIAL BRIDGE
Bridge dedicated in honor of fallen soldier from Leominster
LEOMINSTER – Monday, July 9, 2012 – Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today joined members of the Leominster community to dedicate the Jonathan Roberge Memorial Bridge in honor of Jonathan Roberge of Leominster, a 22-year-old private first class in the United States Army, who was killed in action near Mosul, Iraq on February 9, 2009.
“Massachusetts is proud to honor our veterans and pay respect to those fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our country’s freedom,” said Lieutenant Governor Murray, Chair of the Governor’s Advisory Council on Veterans’ Services. “With this newly dedicated memorial bridge, our Administration joins the Roberge family, the Leominster community and our colleagues in the state legislature to remember Jonathan Roberge for his service to our Commonwealth and our country.”
Governor Deval Patrick signed S. 1741, “An Act Designating a Certain Bridge in the City of Leominster as the Jonathan Roberge Memorial Bridge” on December 21, 2011, officially designating one of the bridges crossing the Nashua River in Leominster in Roberge’s memory.
“There is no greater sacrifice a person can make than to give their life in defense of our nation and its citizens,” said Department of Veterans’ Services Secretary Coleman Nee. “The Jonathan Roberge Memorial Bridge will honor Jonathan’s sacrifice, and serve as a reminder to all of his bravery and patriotism on behalf of a grateful nation.”
"The City of Leominster, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the United States of America will be forever grateful for service and ultimate sacrifice made by PFC Jonathan Roberge while bravely defending our country's freedom,” said Senator Jennifer Flanagan. “The bridge dedication is a mere symbol of the pride, sorrow and thankfulness we hold in our hearts."
"As a veteran, this is a bittersweet moment for me as we gather together to dedicate one of our local bridges in honor of our fallen hero, Jonathan Roberge,” said Representative Dennis A. Rosa. “I am proud to have been a part of the legislation that brought us to this day."
Roberge was driving a Humvee when he and fellow soldiers in the 3rd Battalion 8th Calvary Regiment were attacked by insurgents with an improvised explosive device, taking his life. Roberge received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart posthumously from the United States Army. He was a 2005 graduate of Leominster High School’s Center for Technical Education, where he studied in the automotive technician program. He is a former mechanic for Gervais Ford in Ayer and a former Boy Scout. He is survived by his parents John and Pauline; his two sisters Meghan and Sarah; and a younger brother Andrew, who all joined Lieutenant Governor Murray for the dedication ceremony.
“The family is grateful for the outstanding support of the community,” said John Roberge, father of Jonathan Roberge.
“Jonathan Roberge made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The dedication of this bridge in his name, so close to where he lived, will be a permanent remembrance of his commitment to his family, his community and his country,” said Mayor Dean Mazzarella of Leominster. “I hope both the bridge and the Roberge Park will serve as a place of comfort and peace for all veterans.”
Today’s dedication ceremony is part of the 4th Annual Massachusetts Awareness for Support and Services (MASS) Veterans Tour led by Lieutenant Governor Murray. Building on the success of three previous tours, the 4th Annual MASS Veterans Tour promotes services offered by the state as well as local and federal government and private and non-profit organizations for veterans and their families. In addition to today’s dedication ceremony, Lieutenant Governor Murray will highlight the state’s new web portal, www.MassVetsAdvisor.org, providing veterans and military families with a one-stop shop and improved access to services such as employment, education and medical services. Additional resources that will be highlighted during the tour include the work of the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force to protect the jobs and mission at the Commonwealth’s six military bases; initiatives to hire veterans and support workforce training for veterans; and partnerships to increase housing assistance to help end homelessness for veterans and transition veterans back to the workforce.