Residents Asked to Honor DeMarsico MotorcadeNORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Police, fire and local residents are among those expected to pay respects on Wednesday as the procession bearing Army Pfc. Michael R. DeMarsico II makes its way to the funeral home.
DeMarsico, 20, was killed Thursday, Aug. 16, while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He is the city's first casualty of war since the death of Army Sgt. Peter W. Foote III in Vietnam in 1968.
The procession will pass through towns along the Mohawk Trail from Greenfield, and stop briefly at about 12:30 near the Veterans Memorial after passing through the intersection at Eagle Street.
Residents are encouraged to the line the streets from the top of Union Street west on Route 2 as the procession moves through the city to Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals' West Chapels on West Main Street.
North Adams and Adams fire departments will provide a flag salute with their ladder trucks at the memorial; the Clarksburg Fire Department will greet the procession as it passes around the Hairpin Turn and the Williamstown Fire Department is expected to be situated at the top of the Veterans Memorial Bridge.
Veterans groups are expected to gather at the memorial and the post office will send a contingent of trucks.
Several members of the Here at Home Committee of Berkshire County will be handing out flags as needed. Those attending are encouraged to bring flags or signs of support for the DeMarsico family.
"From everything I hear, we are expecting a wonderful response from the city," said Mayor Richard Alcombright at Tuesday night's City Council meeting. He said City Hall and other public buildings will be closed from noon to 1 to allow city employees to participate.
Both Councilors Marie Harpin and John Barrett III also encouraged area residents to participate.
Barrett referenced Foote, whom he knew, and the death of Wendy Lincoln in the terrorist bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988 as instances when the city residents had met adversity.
"We're not untouched by the cruelty of this world ... we need to come together," he said, suggesting if people couldn't make it Wednesday, they could attend the funeral route on Saturday.
A state police escort will meet the plane carrying DeMarsico's remains at Westover Air Force Base and the motorcade will take Interstate 91 north to Greenfield.
It is expected to enter the city between noon and 12:30 so anyone attending is suggested to be in place before noontime. Motorists should expect detours and delays along the motorcade's route. There will be no access to the funeral home or its parking lot during this period.
A number of local television stations will be set up along Center Street. iBerkshires is planning to livestream part of the motorcade, if possible, and will have photos and video up later in the afternoon for those unable to attend.
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