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Braga Bridge 2014Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. All over the country Americans celebrate veterans and thank them for their service. We volunteer our time, hold parades and ceremonies, offer meals and pay tribute to veterans on this special day.

This Veterans Day, MassDOT and the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project Team would like to draw attention to and honor the many veterans from Fall River, those who returned home and others who died while serving their country.

Among them is World War II veteran Charles Braga, Jr., whose name graces the I-195 bridge over the Taunton River, currently in its final phase of restoration as part of the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project. While training to become a Navy pilot, Mr. Braga was killed during the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Another WWII veteran, PFC Manuel F. Claudio, of the United States Army, was killed in San Carlo, Italy when he stepped on a land mine while out on patrol. Mr. Claudio’s memory is honored with a monument, below, recently relocated from under the shadows of the Route 79 spaghetti ramps to Bicentennial Park, overlooking the Taunton River.

Fall River Claudio MonumentMassDOT is enhancing the project area, removing the elevated roadway, adding multimodal access with bicycle and pedestrian elements, and working to improve the connection between the City and the scenic Fall River waterfront. MassDOT hopes to enrich and honor the city these heroes called home.

Happy Veterans Day from MassDOT and the Route 79/Braga Bridge Improvements Project Team!

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