Updated at 12:40 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 17, 2012
NORTH ADAMS - Flags in the city are flying at half-staff in honor of Michael R. DeMarsico, 20, a city native who was killed in action on Thursday while serving in Afghanistan.
A 2010 graduate of Drury High School, DeMarsico, was serving with the 11th Bravo Infrantry Division of the U.S. Army. He is the son of Lisa and Michael DeMarsico, of Bracewell Ave.
According to Mayor Richard J. Alcombright, a city officer accompanied military personnel at 1 a.m. Friday as they notified the family of his death. DeMarsico was killed by an improvised explosive device, he said.
"It's very sad," the mayor said. "I met with the family this morning. There are no words to describe this loss."
Alcombright said that when he learned the news early Friday morning, his thoughts turned immediately to that of DeMarsico's younger sister, Leigha, a student at Brayton Elementary School, who was asked to participate in the city's Memorial Day services because of her interest in helping local veterans that developed following her brother's deployment.
"Prior to Memorial Day, Leigha was at the cemetery placing flags on veterans' graves," he said. "She developed an interest and took an active roll in honoring local veterans because of her brother. My heart goes out to the family."
Drury High School Principal Amy Meehan described DeMarsico as a "very talented" young man who knew from a very young age that he wanted to serve his country.
"I remember, as far back as his sophomore and junior years, that Michael had a vision and and steadfast goal of serving his country," she said. "I remember being in meetings with his parents, who were always very supportive of his goal. He was a very talented in the areas of technology and engineering. First and foremost, our thoughts are with his family."
DeMarsico is the first city native to be killed in combat since the death of Peter W. Foote, who was killed in action during the Vietnam War. He is the second Berkshire Country resident to die in combat in Afghanistan. Sgt. 1st Class Daniel J. Petithory Jr., 32, was killed by "friendly fire" on Dec. 5, 2001, while serving in Afghanistan.