STAMFORD, Conn. — Stamford will honor one of its own when the Brian Bill Memorial is built in honor of the former resident and Navy SEAL and the other servicemen and servicewomen who have lost their lives in the War Against Terror.
“It’s time for Stamford to recognize this war,” said Patrick Sasser, chairman of the Brian Bill Memorial committee and a childhood friend of Bill. He and Mayor Michael Pavia came up with the idea to honor the fallen Navy SEAL shortly after Bill was killed in action in August 2011 in Afghanistan. He was 31 years old.
After meeting when they were about 12, Sasser and Bill lost touch after high school. He heard how his friend was pursuing his dream of being a Navy SEAL when he saw Bill's mother, Patricia Parry, Sasser said. The next time he heard about Bill was from friend Jonathan Scofield, who broke the news of Bill's death to Sasser and his twin brother, Mike.
“It hits you differently. It brings the war back home,” Sasser said of losing his friend.
The committee hopes to raise $350,000 for the design and construction of the monument. According to the fund’s website, $6,900 has been raised so far. The committee has just started its fundraising effort, Sasser said, adding that he hopes residents feel a sense of ownership with the monument.
“We’re determined to see this through to the end,” Sasser said, adding that there is no timeline for building it.
“I hope the people of Stamford open their hearts and their wallets to help memorialize these brave individuals,” said Bennett Salvatore, who joined the committee because he believes strongly in supporting all men and women who serve in the military.
A location for the memorial has not yet been named.
The first fundraiser for the memorial will take place at Thunder On The Sound on Sept. 23. Participating in this year’s motorcycle ride will be Parry, who will be riding on the back of her son’s motorcycle, and his uncle, who will be driving it, Sasser said.
To donate online or to learn more information about the memorial, visit www.brianbillmemorial.org.