Published in the September 13, 2017 edition

TODD LANE resident Louis Trapasso has been placing American flags on top of the street’s sign to serve as a tribute to the late David and Charles Todd, two brothers who were killed in World War II. The town is looking to erect Gold Street signs to honor local heroes killed in action. (Dan Tomasello Photo)


LYNNFIELD — Local officials are looking to create new street signs that will pay tribute to Lynnfield veterans who gave their lives while fighting for the United States.

The Board of Selectmen recently discussed a proposal to create signs that would recognize Lynnfield veterans killed in action and have town streets named in their honor. Selectmen Chairman Chris Barrett said Todd Lane resident Louis Trapasso first approached the town about the proposal about a year ago. Barrett noted Todd Lane is named “in honor of two American heroes who gave their lives for Lynnfield in World War II.”

“They were brothers,” said Barrett.

In an interview with the Villager, Barrett said Trapasso has been making sure American flags are located on the Todd Lane street sign as part of an effort to recognize David and Charles Todd and their heroism.

“Mr. Trapasso has been maintaining the street sign by making sure there are American flags on it in order to honor the Todd family and the two brothers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the United States,” said Barrett.

Barrett said during a recent selectmen’s meeting he “always noticed there were flags on the street sign.”

“I thought it was possibly from the town,” said Barrett. “But I learned Mr. Trapasso put those flags there to bring great honor to those individuals.”

Veterans Services Agent Bruce Siegel agreed.

“Lou has been putting the flags out every year to commemorate those two brothers who passed way during World War II,” said Siegel.

Barrett told the Villager Trapasso sent a letter to the town about creating a unique sign to serve as a “permanent remembrance for the Todd brothers.” After learning about the proposal, Barrett suggested creating and erecting Gold Star street signs that would pay tribute to fallen service members. He noted Everett has implemented a similar program.

In addition to Todd Lane, Barrett said similar signs would be installed on Townsend Road, Jordan Road and possibly other streets that are named after local heroes killed in combat.

“These Gold Star street signs would honor all of these service members who have given their lives for our great country,” said Barrett.

Trapasso told the selectmen he has lived on Todd Lane since the Blizzard of 1978, and said the town’s veterans association previously placed the flags on the sign before he started doing it.

“It’s become part of my DNA,” said Trapasso.

Trapasso noted the Todd brothers died five months apart during World War II. He has been thinking about the proposal for several years.

“In other towns like Everett or Winthrop where I grew up, you see markers or plaques on a post by itself or on a street sign indicating those individuals who gave up their lives for the betterment of us,” said Trapasso.

Trapasso said he reached out to Siegel to see if “we could put something together.” While conducting research on the project, Trapasso said he and Siegel were able to locate a grandson of one of the Todd brothers.

“The family is okay with putting up a marker,” said Trapasso.

Trapasso said the sign plan would be a good way to “recognize these Gold Star individuals.”

“It will be nice to have it down by the Center,” said Trapasso. “It’s a beautiful place to have it. There are a lot of memorials in the center. But when you drive by and see these flags, a lot of people don’t know what they mean.”

Trapasso noted local historian Helen Breen has been “a great help” with assisting him and Siegel conduct research about the Todd brothers.

Siegel said installing street signs recognizing the town’s fallen heroes such as the Todd brothers, Daniel Townsend and other “important figures in the history of this town would be ideal.”

“We are looking for your support as it relates to the logistics and the funding,” said Siegel.

Barrett expressed his support for the initiative.

“I think you have the full support of the Board of Selectmen,” said Barrett. “With Veterans’ Day coming up, it would be a nice way to have a community discussion. We have to study the roads in Lynnfield and see if there is a list that we could put together and make decisions to have this as part of the celebration for Veterans’ Day.”

Selectman Dick Dalton commended Trapasso for bringing the initiative forward.

“I didn’t realize you have been doing this all these years,” said Dalton about Trapasso placing the flags on the Todd Lane sign.

Selectman Phil Crawford agreed.

“I would like to thank Mr. Trapasso and Bruce for bringing this forward,” said Crawford. “I think it’s a great idea. I would appreciate it if you could bring some samples of what you would like on the post.”

Trapasso and Siegel both said they would forward samples to the selectmen.

“There are lots of ways to do,” said Trapasso. “This one is kind of unique because you do see lots of times where something has been dedicated to an individual. But in this case, it’s two brothers who died five months of each other. I can’t imagine what their families went through. Their father did a lot for this town.”