Brandon Silk was on his fourth tour of duty when the Army staff sergeant died June 21, 2010, in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The 2003 Orono High School graduate, who was a Black Hawk crew chief and a member of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division, was 25.
Now, a bridge in his hometown will carry his name. On Friday, at least 200 people — including family, friends and a number of Maine State Police troopers — gathered by the bridge for a dedication ceremony.
The Maine House and Senate in February passed legislation to rename the Ferry Hill Bridge, which carries Main Street traffic over the Stillwater River, the Brandon M. Silk Memorial Bridge. Gov. Janet Mills signed the legislation into law in early March.
Brandon Silk “died doing what he loved for a cause he believed was just,” his father, Mark Silk, told lawmakers during a public hearing on the legislation in February.
Brandon Silk’s funeral procession went over the bridge that now bears the soldier’s name. As the procession approached, Silk told lawmakers, it passed a young girl who was riding her bike.
“She got off her bike, put her hand over her heart with one hand and waved with the other,” Mark Silk said. “It was a moment in time that imprinted itself on the soldiers who were with us. This small act in small town America brought home to them the importance of what they were doing.”
About six months after his death, Secretary of State Matt Dunlap dedicated the Bangor office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in Silk’s honor.