East-West Highway bridge dedicated to Bethesda Marine Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro

Bethesda Marine Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro (Family photo)

If only Sgt. Alessandro Carbonaro, who was known as “Alex,” was crossing the Bethesda bridge to go home, his parents would not have to hold his pictures so close.

“It is a requirement to remember the sacrifice that these young men and women made,” said Gilda Carbonaro, his mom.

The East-West Highway bridge over the Georgetown Branch Trail is a short distance that will now carry 28 years of memories. A sign showing his name, his Marine Corps mission, and the date he died will be placed here.

“So beloved, so bright, and so full of promise,” said Gilda Carbonaro.

A Bethesda native, Sgt. Carbonaro served two tours in Iraq, earning a Purple Heart the first time. His Humvee hit a roadside bomb, which ultimately killed him in 2006.

Sgt. Carbonaro’s parents worked with Senator-Elect Chris Van Hollen to dedicate the sign.

“After the terrible attacks of 9/11, Alex became more determined than ever to serve his country and he re-enlisted in the Marine Corps,” said Senator-Elect Van Hollen, (D) MD. “We all owe an incredible debt to those who have served so we can enjoy our freedoms. And we never fully repay,” he said.

Maryland passed the Highway Heroes Act in 2015, allowing his family and lawmakers to petition the state to dedicate the bridge.

“He was a person that did not accept lies, did not accept deception,” said Fulvio Carbonaro, Sgt. Carbonaro’s dad.

Sgt. Carbonaro went to school at Our Lady of Lourdes, where flags were placed in the ground before the sign unveiling. It will be hung at the bridge on Wednesday.

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