JAMAICA PLAIN (CBS/AP) — A local bridge was renamed in honor of the late sons of a Boston Marathon bombing hero who was captured in an iconic photo wearing a cowboy hat as he helped rescue victims.
Carlos Arredendo was joined by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker at a ceremony Thursday to rename the Jamaica Way Bridge after 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Alexander Arredondo, who was killed in Iraq in 2004; and 24-year-old Brian Arredondo, who took his own life in 2011.
The bridge was renamed the Alexander Arredondo & Brian Arredondo Memorial Bridge–after the Gold Star son and the brother whose grief led to his suicide.
Gov. Baker said he couldn’t remember another instance when a bridge had been named for a soldier and another family member consumed by grief–and said it isn’t a cliche to say everybody serves.
“This is about the pain that comes from losing a family member lost on the field of combat,” Gov. Baker said.
Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez hosted the ceremony.
“Here we are celebrating the lives of two brothers that show us the example of love of community, love of family, love of country,” Rep. Sanchez said.
Their mother, Victoria Foley, also attended–and spoke publicly for the first time about her sons’ deaths.
Foley told the gathering the loss of a child is uniquely devastating.
“I gave birth to three wonderful boys, and I raised them every day of their lives,” she said. “I had to bury two of my boys, and if not for my youngest, Nathaniel, the grief may have put me in the ground as well.”
Arredondo said he has found solace in making contact with families of all local soldiers who died overseas.
“When you’re a Gold Star family, no longer a Blue Star family, it’s a new beginning for those families,” he said. “There’s no scripts. Some of us come out and do a public event. Some of us stay behind, the grieving process takes a long time and is very hard.”
Arredondo told the crowd that the bridge was the first he crossed into Jamaica Plain as an immigrant.
He was accompanied by his wife, Melida Arredondo.
Members of the local chapter of Rolling Thunder were also present at the dedication ceremony.
The elder Arredondo notably helped Jeff Bauman, a survivor of the 2013 bombing that killed three and injured more than 260.
Bauman’s story is the subject of the new movie “Stronger.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports