LITTLETON, N.H. (AP) – Littleton is remembering its fallen soldiers, sailors and fliers on Memorial Day by dedicating a bridge and bronze plaques in their honor.

“It’s Littleton honoring its own,” said George McAvoy, chairman of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post that sponsored the project.

Forty-six military men from Littleton were killed in wars or terrorist attacks since the Civil War, McAvoy said. Each will be honored with a plaque. Another plaque will be dedicated to a Civil War Medal of Honor winner from the town. A 48th plaque will be dedicated later to 19 who died of non-combat causes, such as disease, while at war.

At the ceremony Monday, plaques mounted to posts on the Cottage Street Bridge will be unveiled. The bridge also is being renamed the Littleton Veterans’ Memorial Bridge.

It is the culmination of three years of research by the VFW.

The group raised $24,000 for the plaques and persuaded the Legislature to pass a law to make the ceremony a reality. It needed the law because the bridge is a state bridge, not a local one.

McAvoy said relatives of the honored men will lay wreaths on the bridge.

“It probably will be pretty emotional,” he said.

McAvoy said the recognition is long overdue, and personally rewarding.

“Let’s face it; I came home, they didn’t,” he said. “You owe them something.”

AP-ES-05-24-03 1441EDT

The plaques will honor 19 men killed in the Civil War, nine each killed in World War I and World War II, seven killed in Korea, one in Vietnam and one in the terrorist bombing of a barracks in Beirut. Another plaque will be dedicated to Joseph Kimball, a Civil War Medal of Honor winner from Littleton.

Finally, a plaque to be mounted later will honor 15 soldiers from the Civil War and four from World War I who died of disease.

At the ceremony, the VFW will present the Littleton Area Historical Society with three books filled with the research it compiled on the honored veterans.

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