Anyone who’s driven through Chelmsford, MA on Interstate 495 in the last few years has seen the flags across this bridge.
I learned today that this bridge is dedicated to Lance Corporal Andrew J. Zabierek, who was killed in action in the Anbar province of Iraq May 21st 2004. A man named Jim Wareing erected this tribute, and has maintained it ever since.
LCpl Zabierek was Clemson University graduate when he enlisted after Sept. 11, 2001. He chose to pass up officers training to serve as an enlisted man first. He was given language training and was key to his platoon’s interaction with locals, including children. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart.
In May of 2005 the bridge was officially dedicated to LCpl Zabierek. In 2007 the state removed the original memorial citing concerns about displays like this detaching for the bridges and causing accidents. The local state representative sorted out a compromise with the state and the memorial was replaced. It appears that the state will allow the memorial to remain as long as it’s well maintained.