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Leominster To Build Memorial For Fallen Soldier

By Alana Gomez, WBZ-TV
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Jonathan Roberge was killed in action in 2009.

Jonathan Roberge was killed in action in 2009.

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For The Kids

LEOMINSTER (CBS) – Mother’s Day is not usually a day we think of people hurting, but there are brave women like Pauline Roberge who spend this time swallowing their grief and holding back tears.

“This is never going to go away and everyday we have to wake up and know that Jonathon isn’t with us,” said Pauline.

Pauline lost her oldest son Jonathon Roberge in 2009. The army private died when a suicide bomber attacked his humvee.

WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.

Now her biggest fear is that people will forget.

“I just didn’t want him to be another name on an empty plaque,” said Pauline.

The town of Leominster won’t let that happen. Volunteers from the fire department, police department, F-troop, and the department of public works are coming together to build a one-of-a-kind memorial for the fallen soldier.

Part of the tribute will have a replica of the tank Jonathon used to operate.

“I said we need to have a tank because to me that represents Jonathon in the military and everything he was about,” said his father John Roberge. “He was so proud that he was a tank driver.”

Marble tiles will display the faces of all the servicemen and women from Massachusetts who’ve died in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Nobody understands what the families are going through,” said John. “Maybe when people go and see this they can understand a little bit.”

The recognition helps with the healing – and during the most difficult days, even silent support keeps her strong.

“You don’t have to say anything. I think a hug or simple gesture, or just being there when we need to cry or vent,” said Pauline.

The fundraiser will be held July 17 at Eagles Hall in Leominster. It will kickoff with a motorcycle ride at 11am and end with a barbecue at 1pm. Tickets are $20 dollars per person.

Other donations can be sent to the IC Credit Union regarding “Johnny Ro park.”

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