By Lauren Schiavone
Hometown Weekly Staff
Needham residents and city officials arrived at Hersey Station on Monday afternoon, July 11, for dedication of the Private First Class David “Damon” Borrelli Memorial Bridge.
At only twenty one years old, Borrelli lost his life in Normandy during WWII. A young Needham High School graduate, Borrelli valued education and family above all else.
Select Board member Matt Borrelli reminded those in attendance that six Borrelli brothers served in the second World War; as such, he suggested, the bridge acts as a memorial not just for David Borrelli, but for his entire family. Family members in attendance included nephew Matt, nephew Damon, and siblings Joe and Mary Ann.
Beginning with the pledge of allegiance, community members gathered to honor Borrelli and his family, all descended from Italian immigrants. Private First Class Borrelli was deployed in 1944 to serve in the US Army, A Company, 1st Battalion, 116th Infantry Regiment, in World War II. PFC Borrelli’s division was best known for being amongst the first ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944. David was one out of twenty who continued into Normandy. He died in the Battle of Saint-Lô on July 11, 1944.
VFW Chaplain Tom Keating recited a moving poem and lead the community in prayer to honor Borrelli and his dedication to not only Needham, but the country.
Senators Mike Rush and Becca Rausch gave heartfelt sentiments as well, expressing intense gratitude for Private First Class Borrelli’s sacrifice. Rausch connected her Jewish faith to Borrelli’s service and shared just how important his everlasting valor is.
Representative Denise Garlick gave a wonderful speech, explaining: “These are not just gestures of respect, but acts of love.” Garlick read aloud the dedication bill as the Borrelli family, VFW, and community made their way to the bridge for its officiation.
“It is a part of our history,” Rep. Garlick stated, “and now it is a part of our everyday life in Needham.”