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Lawrence bridge to be named for fallen soldier

November 7, 2013

LAWRENCE, Mass. (AP) — A bridge in Lawrence is being named after a local soldier who was missing in Iraq for more than a year before his body was found.

A ceremony to rename the bridge on Canal Street after Army Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez is scheduled for Nov. 15.

Jimenez was 25 when he and two other soldiers were captured by insurgents in an ambush in Iraq in May 2007. His remains were found in July 2008.

“I’m happy that his name will be etched forever in the city’s history,” Jimenez’s father, Andy Jimenez, told The Eagle-Tribune (http://bit.ly/17am500 ).

The elder man was moved to tears by the honor.

He said he found strength through his faith and the support of local residents during the 14 months his son was listed as missing in action.

“There were a lot of cities and towns who came together, but Lawrence was phenomenal,” Andy Jimenez said. “I’ve always said Lawrence is a small city with a big heart.”

The city council voted unanimously Sept. 19 to name the bridge for Jimenez, with the full support of the mayor and city veteran’s agent.

A bronze plaque that will mark the site is etched with an excerpt of a letter Jimenez wrote in 2000 to an Army recruiter explaining the reason why he wanted to be a soldier.

It reads: “Ever since I was born, I’ve felt an attraction for technology, problem-solving, action and adventure. I believe that in the U.S. Army, I may reach my goals which are being all that I can be. ... If I ever do get recruited, I promise to fight for the innocent who can’t fight for themselves and for the USA.”

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Information from: Eagle Tribune (North Andover, Mass.), http://www.eagletribune.com

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