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Hundreds Attend Memorial For North Adams Soldier

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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Hundreds of candles were placed to illuminate 'Thank You Mike' on the Drury High School parking lot on Sunday night. More photos here.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Hundreds of area residents converged Sunday night at Drury High School to remember one of its graduates: Army Pfc. Michael DeMarsico.

The remembrance drew upwards of 500 people, many of them former classmates or friends of the 20-year-old DeMarsico, who was killed Thursday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.

"It was a small plan that turned into a big, big outcome," said Michael Reardon of the memorial he and Robert Grandchamp had planned for their friend. "There was a lot more people than we thought would show up. Michael would have loved it."

Friends gathered in the lower parking lot at the high school on Church Street to write "Thank You Mike" in bold chalk letters on the pavement. A saluting soldier and the traditional boots, gun, helmet symbolizing the fallen soldier "cross" was drawn below it.

The hushed crowd placed hundreds of votive candles around the letters to illuminate them as music such as "Proud to be an American" played. The solemn memorial was punctuated by soft sobs, and as the illumination was completed, the mourners waved small American flags and held aloft candles.

Reardon and Grandchamp said they wanted to be strong for Mike's family, and support them.

"It's made it a little easier to go through, just seeing all the ones who came," said Grandchamp. "He would have wanted everyone to remember him with a smile on his face, not feeling sorry for him."

The word hero is tossed around a lot, said the Rev. David Anderson of First Baptist Church, who was asked to address the gathering. "Tonight I think we're reminded of the reality that there is a level of hero that goes beyond anything we've come to understand in our day-to-day lives here in our homes.

"There are those heroes who aspire to serve their country nobly, to travel to desolate places for no other reason than to protect who we are and what we have."

DeMarsico's parents, Michael and Lisa DeMarsico, and his siblings were presented with a large bouquet of red, white and blue balloons covered with "thank yous" and messages to the young soldier. The family lit a votive attached to the bouquet and released it into the heavens.

One of his cousins spoke of how Mike had become more like a brother, and how he loved and missed him.

Chris Grandchamp, Robert's brother, said the two had passed by each other throughout their young lives and had kept in touch after DeMarsico entered the service two years ago.

"He was never down, never negative about what he was doing, always positive," said Grandchamp. "I didn't think this would happen this early in his life, in anybody's life."

Mike's aunt Laurie Douglas moved through the crowd hugging and thanking those who attended.

"He's touched a lot of lives," she said. "He's not gone, he's not forgotten, he's in the breath we take, the air all around us. He loves each and everyone one of you."

Tags: casualty,   memorial,   military,   war,   

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North Adams Happenings: July 24-30

North Adams Happenings July 24 - 30, 2019

AUGUST 6th - National Night Out
4:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.Neighborhoods throughout North Berkshire once again join the North Adams Police, Fire, and Emergency Departments to host a variety of special events such as cookouts, games, contests, music and more!
More information.

AUGUST 14th - 23rd Annual Downtown Celebration
JOIN US! The  23rd Annual Downtown Celebration will take over downtown North Adams on Wednesday, August 14 from 5:30 – 9 PM.  
RAIN DATE: Thursday, August 15th
BUSINESSES AND VENDORS: Application still available.
More information.
Wednesday 7/24
10:00 A.M. (FREE, $5 to park), NATURE WALK, Nice 'N' Easy Walk Natural Bridge State Park, McCauley Road More information.  

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Terrific Tots Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.  

10:30 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Preschool Story Time North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.   

6:30 P.M. ($3-5), SPORTS, SteepleCats V. Keene Joe Wolfe Field, 310 State Street  More information.

6:30 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Concerts at the Lake Presents The Matchstick Architects and Bang on a Can Windsor Lake, 200 Windsor Lake Road, (413) 664-6180 More information.

8:00 P.M. (FREE), GAMES, Trivia Night! Ramunto's, 67 Main Street, (413) 398-5152 More information.

Thursday 7/25
5:00 P.M. (FREE), ART, 2019 DownStreet Art Main Street More information.

5:30 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, The Chalet: Apocalypstick Redd The Chalet at Courtyard D, MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way  More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Party in the Park Presents The Hotshot Hillbillies Noel Field, 310 State Street   More information.
Friday 7/26
7:30 A.M. (FREE), MEET UP, NAMAzing Eagle Street Parklet Coffee Date NAMAzing Eagle Street Parklet, Eagle Street, More information.

10:00 A.M. (FREE), KIDS, Drop-In Playgroup The Family Center, 210 State Street, (413) 664-4821 More information.

11:00 A.M. (FREE, PARKING $5), KIDS, Kidleidoscope New England's Natural Bridge, 1 McCauley Road More information.

6:00 P.M. ($1 and up), GAMES, BINGO! North Adams Elks 487 Lodge, 100 Eagle Street, (413) 664-9039 More information.

6:30 P.M. ($3-5), SPORTS, SteepleCats V. Upper Joe Wolfe Field, 310 State Street  More information.

7:00 P.M. (BY DONATION), CRAFTING, Knitting Nights with Common Folk Common Folk, 73 Main Street More Information.

8:00 P.M. ($66-300), CONCERT, The Prentenders MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

8:30 P.M. (FREE), MOVIE, Movies Under the Stars at Colegrove Park Colegrove Park Elementary, 24 Church Street More information.

9:00 P.M. (FREE), MUSIC, Karaoke Friday! State Street Tavern, 167 State Street, (413) 664-9152 More information.
Saturday 7/27
9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. (FREE), MARKET,  North Adams Farmers Market St. Anthony's Parking Lot at Marshall Street and St. Anthony's Drive (413)664-6180 More information.

12:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Peace & Rhythm InStore Belltower records, Norad Mill, Suite 301, 60 Roberts Dr More information.

2:00 P.M. ($25), ART, Artist Talk with Chrissie Hynde MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), ART, Open Studios at MASS MoCA Assets for Artists, 1320 Mass Moca Way More information.

6:30 P.M. ($3-5), SPORTS, SteepleCats V. New Bedford Joe Wolfe Field, 310 State Street  More information.

8:00 P.M. ($18-44), CONCERT, Adia Victoria MASS MoCA, 1040 MASS MoCA Way More information.
Sunday 7/28
12:00 P.M. (FREE), PICNIC, Annual Summer Picnic Horrigan Road, Clarksburg More information.

3:00 P.M. (FREE), CONCERT, Public Puberty/Carbus/Human Pontiac Belltower records, Norad Mill, Suite 301, 60 Roberts Dr More information.

4:00 P.M. (FREE), FOOD & MUSIC, Racks and Stacks (barbecue and vinyl music) A-oK Berkshire Barbecue, 2601 Mass MoCA Way More information.
Monday 7/29
1:00 P.M. (FREE), KIDS, Crafternoons! North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.

6:00 P.M. (FREE), KIDS, Discovery Mondays- Space Themed North Adams Public Library, 74 Church Street, (413) 662-3133 More information.
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