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Bill seeks to name Derry bridge for Marine

DERRY — A bill to name a bridge on West Broadway after a fallen Marine and Pinkerton Academy graduate has been submitted to the state Legislature.

Councilors voted unanimously in September to name the bridge, just west of the Marion Gerish Community Center, in honor of Lance Cpl. Michael Geary.

State Rep. Al Baldasaro began the process in the Legislature to have the bridge named after Geary by submitting the bill last month, said Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores.

While on patrol in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Geary was killed in combat on Dec. 8, 2010. Geary was a member of the 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Geary grew up in Derry and graduated from Pinkerton Academy in 2009.

“It’s terrible that he died, but it’s wonderful he can be remembered,” Katsakiores said.

The councilor said she is a supporter of the effort and, if called on, will give testimony. The bill will have to go through the Senate and then the House. If it is approved by the Legislature, it would be up to Gov. Maggie Hassan to approve or veto it.

“I’d be very surprised if it didn’t pass,” Katsakiores said. “It’s a wonderful thing; I’m just so happy I could help.”

She said the process for the bill to pass is a lengthy one, and she estimated it wouldn’t be finalized until spring.

Since the town doesn’t have any covered bridges, the bridge, which spans Shields Brook at Route 102, was a good choice to be named for Geary, Katsakiores said.

The bridge is municipally owned with Derry’s urban compact, and the council has the authority to approve the dedication request, according to an opinion by the Municipal Association.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars has offered to cover the cost of two signs for the project, and the Derry Department of Public Works will install them.

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