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New York street named after Beemer soldier

September 5, 2018

NEW YORK CITY — A street in the Bronx, once known as Bayshore Avenue, now recognizes the sacrifice of a Beemer man.

On Aug. 18, the Bayshore sign came down, replaced with a long, green street sign honoring Joseph E. Lemm.

The late Sgt. Lemm, who grew up in Beemer, is the son of Shirley Lemm of Wisner.

A 16-year veteran of the Air National Guard, Lemm was killed as the result of a suicide bomber attack as Lemm’s convoy patrolled a village near Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

Lemm, 45, died four days before Christmas in 2015 along with five other service members in the convoy. Two others were injured in the attack.

Lemm, a technical sergeant in the Air Guard’s 105th Base Security Squadron, pulled double duty, also serving as a detective with the New York Police Department.

He was on his final tour, which included two to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. He was only two months from returning home when a bomber plowed a motorcycle into the U.S. servicemen and detonated the explosives.

“It matters that we gather to keep his memory alive, whether you’re in the city, in the Bronx or back in Nebraska,” Mayor Bill deBlasio said, as family members, friends, dignitaries and members of the NYPD and military took part in the unveiling ceremony. “Years from now, people will know a great man was honored here.”

Mayor deBlasio extended his condolences and gratitude to Lemm’s family, the NYPD and the military for the loss of a man known to his colleagues as “superman.”

Lemm was nicknamed for his resemblance to the late actor Christopher Reeve, who portrayed Superman in several movies, and his 6-foot-5, 250-pound frame.

The street chosen for the renaming is about two blocks from the Lemms’ home, and it borders the Yacht Club where the New York detective and his wife, Christine DeGuisto-Lemm, lived.

The two, in fact, spent their last weekend together there before he was deployed. Also on hand at the ceremony were the Lemms’ children.

“The location has sentimental value and a lot of memories of the time spent in front of the boat club,” DeGusto-Lemm said. “It’s an amazing tribute from the City of New York and our country.”

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