Renaming the Bass River Bridge is for all veterans and their community [Letter]

Editor's note: The following letter was received in response to the recently preposed renaming of the Bass River Bridge  to the United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Bridge.  See below for links to additional stories and letters.

To the Editor:

As a veteran of the United States Army in a family full of veterans, I have to say how sad I am at a community divided by such a wonderful act of kindness.  I read the numerous articles on the renaming of the Bass River Bridge; a bridge that should bring together two very strong towns instead it seems to be dividing these communities.  The last article I read in The Register indicated that the bridge was to be named only after this one fallen soldier and how wrong two words missing in the title of the bridge changes the meaning.  The bridge was nominated to be named for ALL VETERANS that have served and died for this country, not just one soldier.  It was not submitted as the United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos Bridge but as the United States Marine Corporal Nicholas G. Xiarhos Veterans Memorial Bridge.  The application submitted was to put a face on naming the bridge in memory of all veterans.  A face so that people on Cape Cod will know that soldiers do die in war from here and not just over the bridge in Boston, Springfield, etc.  This soldier was not only a Yarmouth resident but was also a Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School student and athlete, very popular among his peers.

I salute the Cape Cod American Veterans, affiliates and State Representative Demetrius Atsalis for taking a stand to support and believe in this project as so many others do here on Cape Cod.  We seem to be only hearing from people who aren’t in support of it in the media.  Other Towns in Massachusetts have done this and not just for the soldier and his/her family but for the community to remember the fallen soldier and for this soldier to be the symbol for all other veterans who sacrificed their lives in defense of our country, state and town so we may continue to live in a peaceful and free country.  Towns like Raynham for SFC Jared Monti, Leominster for PFC Jonathan Roberge, Fall River for Pvt. Michael E. Bouthot & SFC Russell G. Smith Jr., Taunton for SGT Shane Duffy and Scituate for SGT Michael J. Kelley who renamed a bridge on Route 3A over the North River connecting the communities of Marshfield & Scituate.

Why is the name Bass River Bridge so important, a bridge that most of us drive over everyday and never think of its name, and a bridge that will probably last forever where this one soldier only lasted for a moment.

Elaine Starks, SGT
Veteran of the US Army

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