AUBURN, Mass. – Members of the Maj. David Brodeur Memorial Foundation are hoping the Auburn School Committee decides that the school district will honor the Auburn military hero who died in Afghanistan in 2011.
On Wednesday, Aug. 8, the Maj. David Brodeur Naming Subcommittee, which includes School Committee members Jeff Lourie and Elizabeth Gribbons, plans to present its recommendation on whether part of the school district will be dedicated to Brodeur.
Tim Morse, president of the memorial foundation, said the group is hopeful the School Committee will approve a dedication.
“We originally requested them to rename the high school to Maj. David Brodeur Memorial High School, but we ran into a bit more opposition than we had anticipated, so we have looked at other options,” Morse said. “One option is renaming the middle school when it’s rebuilt, or naming the driveway going into the high school.”
Morse said that Brodeur had his greatest local impact in the school system.
“Ultimately, we would like to see his name on the side of a building,” Morse said. “We would love for the opportunity for the children that go to school there to learn about who David was and what a great example he was for the community.”
There is some opposition, however, to having a part of the school district named after a soldier. Auburn Historical Commission member Ken Ethier said Brodeur should be recognized in town but not at a school.
“I can’t say enough nice things about the Brodeur family, but I don’t think a school should be named after a military hero,” Ethier said. “We have squares and monuments around town that are named after military heroes.”
Lourie said the committee will have to look at the financial cost of renaming a school. He pointed to Worcester State University, which had about $100,000 in costs for changing its name.
Members of the memorial foundation said they are confident in their ability to raise funds for a renaming.
Brodeur, a 1994 graduate of Auburn High School, died April 27, 2011, in Kabul, Afghanistan. Among his commendations and awards are the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal and Combat Action Medal.
Brodeur was honored July 27 during a dedication ceremony for the recently completed Air Advisor Memorial at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey.
While the memorial honors all air advisers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, the ceremony honored one contracted and eight Air Force air advisers, including Brodeur, who were killed in Afghanistan on April 27, 2011.