Westchester County bridge renamed for servicemember killed in Afghanistan

Joe Torres Image
Monday, May 31, 2021
NY bridge renamed for servicemember killed in Afghanistan
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Joe Torres reports on a fallen soldier honored in Westchester County.

WEST HARRISON, Westchester County (WABC) -- There was a tribute to an American Hero in West Harrison on Memorial Day.

The dedication of a bridge above I-287 now serves as a lasting and permanent memorial to Air Force Veteran Joseph Lemm.

The 45-year-old father and son died in 2015 serving our country in Afghanistan.

But the West Harrison resident also served 15 years with the NYPD.

On Monday, his window reflected on the importance of the bridge to the Lemm family.

"This little bridge, this overpass connects to my children's elementary school right up the hill, to our parish, a half mile the other way to my home," said Christine DeGiusto-Lemm.

"He stood, he fought and ultimately he died in defense of the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted every day," NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea said.

At the time of his death, Lemm was on this third tour overseas. He served two in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.

During Monday's emotional ceremony, his family, friends and military colleagues remembered a man dedicated to putting the needs of others ahead of his own.

"We are gathered to uphold our end of the contract that we have with Joe and his family," said USAF Major General Timothy LaBarge. "A contract that says that when Joe gave his life for all of us, that we will never, ever forget.

The bridge dedication was a collaborative effort between state, county and local leaders.

In 2019, state lawmakers enacted the legislation to name the bridge after Det. Technical Sgt. Joseph Lemm.

Two years later, that effort is now reality and it represents an enduring installment on a debt that can never be paid in full.

RELATED | Memorial Day: Local ceremonies, parades honor fallen servicemen and women

The Tri-State area is honoring our fallen servicemen and women this Memorial Day. And President Biden spoke at Arlington National Cemetery.


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