DERRY — His quest to honor one of the town's most decorated veterans continues.
For Robert Aronson, it's a labor of devotion and respect as he hits the pavement in Derry almost daily. He's gathering signatures on a petition to rename the Derry Municipal Center to honor of World War II Army veteran Walter Borowski.
Borowski died June 19. In February, the Derry veteran added the French Legion of Honor to his many military citations and medals.
Aronson has gathered a page full of signatures. He officially needs 100, but he wants to shoot for more — at least 300.
"It hasn't been easy," Aronson said one afternoon last week as he visited office buildings, the farmers market and other locations with petition in hand.
Those who sign have to be registered Derry voters, he said. Some don't want to sign or aren't even sure who Walter Borowski was. Aronson keeps a Derry News story about Borowski close by to show anyone who needs to learn more about the decorated veteran.
Even though Aronson spent very little time with Borowski, it made an impression.
Aronson visited with Walter's son, Tom Borowski, recently to chat about all Tom's father had done in his lifetime. The veteran's son showed Aronson his late father's land at the family home on Madden Street.
"I finally got to see his garden," Aronson said. "It wasn't a garden, it's a farm."
Aronson heard about how the elder Borowski continued to weed his vegetable rows almost until his death, traveling down the front hill on his scooter, then climbing out of the seat and lying on the ground to pull weeds.
Aronson said he will keep going with his petition in the hopes of someday giving Walter Borowski the recognition he deserves with his name on a town building.
"If I could, I'd change the name of the town of Derry to Walter Borowski," he said.
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