The soon-to-be-named Hart-Desiato bridge, looking from the Bedford boat landing – Image (c) JMcCT, 2018 all rights reserved – Click to view larger image

Submitted by the Office of Rep. Ken Gordon (D-Bedford)

Bedford will kick off Memorial Day this year in a special way, as Gov. Charlie Baker and Congressman Seth Moulton will come to town to dedicate the bridge on Carlisle Road that spans the Concord River in the memory of two fallen heroes, Private First Class John Hart and Lance Corporal Travis Desiato. The soldiers were killed within 13 months of each other in Iraq, fighting the war on terror.

The dedication was arranged by State Rep. Ken Gordon (D-Bedford) and Senator Mike Barrett (D-Lexington, who carried the bill dedicating the bridge in honor of these heroes.  Governor Baker signed the bill into law in December.

“The families of these two heroes will be surrounded by friends, family and their Bedford neighbors as we unveil the new name for this recently repaved bridge,” said Rep. Gordon.  “The Commonwealth is proud to dedicate this lasting reminder that we stand with our troops, and honor their sacrifice.

“The bridge itself overlooks the peacefully flowing Concord River, where canoers and kayakers paddle below.  I think Travis and John would appreciate this memorial in such a serene part of town,” said Gordon.

“In honoring two of its young people who put themselves in harm’s way, we come face to face with the unthinkable disproportionality of sacrifice in war,” Sen. Barrett said.  “John, Travis, and their families took an unknowable blow.  The rest of us were untouched, but we can remember.  With the bridge, Bedford has a concrete and durable way to recall John and Travis and what they did for friends and neighbors.”

The ceremony will commence at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 25, at the boat launch beside the bridge at 285-305 Carlisle Road. Parking will be provided at the Bedford Town Composting Center at 108 Carlisle Road, and shuttles will run to the boat launch starting at 3:00 p.m. The boat launch will be closed to vehicles and the boat launch will be closed beginning Thursday afternoon to prepare for the event.

Along with Gov. Baker, Congressman Moulton, Rep. Gordon and Sen. Barrett, speakers will include Hanscom AFB Commander Colonel Roman L. Hund, and members of the Hart and Desiato families. Emi McSwain of Bedford High School and Hanscom Air Force Base will open the ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem.

Seating at the ceremony is open to the public.

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