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Bridge rededicated in honor of only person from Bangor killed in Pearl Harbor

The bridge honors Willard C. Orr, who was a 1939 graduate of Bangor High School.
Willard C. Orr bridge.
Willard C. Orr bridge.(WABI)
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 5:16 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - A bridge in honor of the only person from Bangor killed in Pearl Harbor was rededicated on Tuesday.

After over a year in the making and some bumps along the way, Bangor finally has a new footbridge downtown.

The Willard C. Orr bridge was rededicated Tuesday over 40 years later.

“It was more or less crumbling, it had become very unsafe,” said Claire Davitt, Bangor city councilor

The bridge honors Willard, who was a 1939 graduate of Bangor High School.

He was the only Bangor resident killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

“All of my life I heard about my uncle who I never knew, of course, it was family lore passed down, of course, and when we learned about the bridge some years ago we made a point about wanting to come up and see it,” said Tom Orr, Willard’s nephew.

Several members of Orr’s family were there to cut the ribbon.

Tom shared words from old letters written by his uncle where he talked about coming back to Bangor to farm with his family, getting married and having children.

“The most haunting thing about the letter was the prediction his own death. He said I may just get in front of a gun and I won’t have to worry about what I do when I come home. So that was darkly prophetic,” Tom said.

Bangor city officials say they are excited to see the bridge back to full use.

“Just the changes that were made to make it last longer, it’s beautiful, I love what we’ve done with the lights. And as Council Chair Tremble said in his speech, the bringing together of both sides of the city again,” Davitt said.

“It certainly preserves his legacy and the family name, it certainly is a permanent connection to the family name and to the city of Bangor and a reminder of not only his sacrifice, but other Bangor natives who did not come home,” Tom said.

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