EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 6, 2013

City bridge to be named in memory of Iraq veteran

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It reads: "Ever since I was born, I've felt an attraction for technology, problem solving, action and adventure. I believe that in the US Army I may reach my goals which are being all that I can be...If I ever do get recruited, I promise to fight for the innocent who can't fight for themselves and for the USA.

Valley Monument owner Kevin Shea said the plaque is made out of bronze, with letters lasered etched out of the same material, giving it a three-dimensional look. Shea, a Marines Corps veteran was more than please to work on the plaque.

"Anytime I get an opportunity to do anything for a veteran, it gives us great pleasure. They put everything on the line for us and we have to appreciate them," Shea said.

Jimenez was not the only Lawrence resident to die in Iraq. Army Sgt. Pierre Raymond was killed eight years ago in a mortar blast while serving in Ramadi, Iraq.

Andy Jimenez, who has lived in Lawrence since 1987, became teary eyed when he learned the council had approved the project.

During the agonizing 14 months his son was missing in action, Andy Jimenez said he found strength through his faith and the support of local residents who held weekly vigils to pray for Alex’s return.

“There were a lot of cities and towns who came together, but Lawrence was phenomenal,’’ Andy Jimenez said. “I’ve always said Lawrence is a small city with a big heart.’’

READ MORE ABOUT ALEX JIMENEZ AND OTHER LOCAL WAR VETERANS North of Boston Media Group is publishing a collectible coffee-table book featuring hundreds of local veterans, including the story of Alex Jimenez. Due out in early December, "Salute To Veterans" is being offered through Nov. 13 at a special purchase price of $29.95. The book regularly sells for $39.95. This hard-bound book, which recognizes veterans from the Civil War to Modern Warfare, features more than 500 photos -- all of people from the North Shore and Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. To order your copies of "Salute To Veterans" visit http://www.pedimentbooks.com/store/product/merrimack-veterans-book/. You can also call Linda Gardner at The Eagle-Tribune, 978-946-2241.

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