Route 6 Overpass Dedicated to Local Marine

Donovan Memorial Bridge Symbolizes A Healing Connection

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WEST YARMOUTH – A bridge over Route 6 in West Yarmouth was recently named after a local U.S. Marine and a dedication ceremony was held Saturday afternoon.

The ceremony honored Lance Corporal William J. Donovan Jr, who was a graduate of Dennis-Yarmouth Regional High School and a former Marine.

Donovan was killed in a motorcycle crash in 2015.

His mother, Jane Donovan, remembered her son on what would have been his 30th birthday.

“He was caring, kind, a good friend and a little quiet and shy until you got to know him and he brought a smile to everyone’s face,” Jane said. “And he had such an infectious laugh.”

The overpass was renamed to the Lance Corporal William Joseph Donovan Jr. Memorial Bridge after a bill, which was co-sponsored by State Representatives Tim Whelan (R-Brewster) and Nick Collins (D-South Boston), was signed into law last month.

Donovan was awarded two Purple Hearts in 2011 for injuries suffered in different explosions while serving in Afghanistan.

“We honor the man, a son, a brother, a nephew, a cousin and a Marine,” said Mike Donovan, the Suffolk County Clerk Magistrate and William’s uncle.

William enlisted as a Marine to honor high school friend, Cpl. Nicholas Xiarhos, who was killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2009.

After returning home, Donovan was diagnosed with a brain injury and had problems with bad dreams.

Donovan began riding motorcycles with Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Riders to honor his friend, after he was introduced to the club by Yarmouth Deputy Police Chief Steven Xiarhos, the father of Nicholas.

“Will was taught how to ride… and Will and I rode and we healed,” Xiarhos said. “And we smiled again together.”

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