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Governor Malloy, Stamford Officials Remember SEAL One Year Later

As the one-year anniversary of the death of U.S. Navy SEAL Brian Bill approached, Stamford officials celebrated his life.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy joined Mayor Michael Pavia and a slew of other political figures at the Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the life, service and ultimate sacrifice of US. Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer , a Stamford native.

The memorial was organized as the approaches on August 6, 2012, of a in Afghanistan that took Bill's life. Pavia took the opportunity of having everyone gathered to announce that August 6th will be Brian Bill Day, and asked flags be lowered to half staff and a moment of silence observed at 10 a.m.

"He lost life almost a year ago in defense of the great city of Stamford and the great United States of America," Pavia said."As a city we will never forget Brian Bill and certainly the country will never forget Brian Bill."

A video tribute was shown commemorating Bill's life through a series of pictures and backed by patriotic songs. Malloy then talked about a new memorial in the works to commemorate those who have fallen in service to their nation in the heart of Connecticut. 

"I want to say that Brian Bill represents the best of the best in our nation's military," Malloy said. "His commitment, which he demonstrated throughout his life. His courage, which he demonstrated throughout his life and his sense of duty to his nation. This memorial will stand as a fitting tribute to him and to other service members."

, Bill was awarded three Bronze Stars with valor, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with valor, Navy & Marine Corps. Commendation Medal, Navy & Marine Corps. Achievement Medal, two Combat Action ribbons and three gold Combat Medals.

State Sen. L. Scott Franz (R-Greenwich) said those medals earned by Bill during his time fighting for his country came at a time when freedom is one of the most important issues on the forefront of everyone's mind.

"We understand the freedom brings out the very best in us. It makes us better citizens. It makes us care more deeply about the people around us," Franz said. "It makes us care more deeply about our community, our country. Brian understood that. That's why Brian went to the front lines of the War on Terror."

State Sen. Carlo Leone also touched on pride how Bill's love of his country drove him while in the service.

"He dreamed big of becoming a Navy SEAL and he accomplished that dream," Leone said. "It's quite appropriate to celebrate his life because even now, he continues to inspire us. He made his parents very proud. He made our city and our country also very proud. He was the best our city and our country had to offer, and he showed everyone what we are all capable of doing."

In attendance to witness the dedication and kind words were a number of Bill's family, including his mother Patricia Parry and his step-father Dr. Michael Parry and his sister Amy. Dr. Parry reflected after the ceremony on how the city's response to has helped the family turn a corner—but would have most likely annoyed Bill.

"Brian would just think to have all this attention [dedicated to him] was so ridiculous," Parry chuckled. "But it's really helped us as a family turn a corner. It's a silver-lining to see so many people coming together who cared for him and believe in what he did. It's the blessing in the tragedy."

Among other members of the government present, State Rep. William Tong (D-Stamford/New Canaan), State Rep. Michael Molgano, U.S. Senate candidate Steve Obsitnik, Board of Representatives President Randall Skigen and several members of the Board of Representatives, Stamford Police Chief Robert Nivakoff and several members of the Stamford Police Department and Stamford Fire & Rescue.

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