, Derry, New Hampshire

September 26, 2013

Bridge in Derry to be named in honor of soldier

By Julie Huss

---- — DERRY — One of the town's fallen soldiers will be remembered.

Efforts are now underway to have a bridge in Derry named for Lance Cpl. Michael Geary.

The bridge over Shields Brook at Route 102 on West Broadway may someday honor the Derry soldier.

Geary, 20, died in combat Dec. 8, 2010, in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, while serving with Fox Company 2/9 United States Marine Corps.

He was a 2009 graduate of Pinkerton Academy.

Supporters, including members of Geary's family, of having the bridge named for Geary came before town councilors last week.

Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, said it's a fitting tribute to name the bridge in Geary's memory.

Baldasaro, also a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1617, said the post agreed to pay the cost of erecting signs at the bridge and overwhelmingly supported the effort.

Public works employees would handle the installation. There would be one sign for each direction at the bridge.

Although the bridge is municipally owned within Derry's Urban Compact, the Town Council has the authority to approve the dedication request, which it did unanimously.

Baldasaro will file legislation to honor Geary and have the bridge officially named the Lance Cpl. Michael E. Geary Bridge.

"I will file to get the state's blessing," he said.

Following Geary's death, his alma mater honored him with a tribute as his motorcade passed en route to his burial place. Town officials, students and Pinkerton Academy staff lined up in front of the school as the procession drove by.

At that time, Pinkerton Headmaster Mary Anderson called Geary someone who worked diligently to make his dreams come true.

"I admire Michael because he walked the talk," Anderson said. "He believed serving his country was his highest calling."

Geary would join other local soldiers honored with a bridge dedication.

In Londonderry, the former Little Cohas Bridge was dedicated last year to the memories of Lance Cpl. Peter Sora, 19, and PFC Eric Currier, 21.

The bridge is now known as the Sora-Currier Memorial Bridge.

Both Currier and Sora had Londonderry ties and died while serving their country.

Baldasaro said it's in a community's blood that fallen soldiers not be forgotten.

Having the bridge named for Geary could also give veterans a spot to honor the soldier every year and lay a memorial wreath on holidays like Veterans Day or Memorial Day.

"I think this location is a win-win for all," he said. "Anyone that gave their life for freedom, their life goes on."