The Markey Bridge Dedication Ceremony took place on Monday November 26th at Revere Beach Boulevard upon the entrance to the new pedestrian bridge.
On a sparkling bright but windy and cold day the invited guests and local audience all had an opportunity to hear Congressman Markey share his families experiences and fond recollections of Revere Beach. Like many of us who remember Revere Beach in its heyday the Markey family itself has a strong emotional attachment to Revere Beach.
Mayor Dan Rizzo welcomed guests that included Speaker of the House, Robert DeLeo, Senator Anthony Petrucelli, Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein, Revere City Councillors, Revere School School Committee members and many other local city officials. The Revere High School Jr. ROTC , Revere Fire & Revere Police Color Guard proudly presented the Colors.
The following article written by Aaron Keebaugh, Revere Advocate Newspapers
Local and state politicians and a small crowd of city officials and residents gathered at the foot of the nearly-completed footbridge on Revere Beach Monday morning to dedicate the structure and a memorial pedestal that sits on the small plaza.
Named in honor of Congressman Ed Markey’s parents, Christina and John Markey of Malden, the cable-stayed footbridge towers over 50 feet above Ocean Avenue. When completed, LED lights will bathe the bridge in colors that will be visible from Revere Beach Boulevard and the sea.
The 151-foot pedestrian bridge, Mayor Dan Rizzo stated, is “destined to become one of the iconic symbols of the new Revere Beach. The project could not have happened without a team of partners both public and private.”
“Markey has stood by Revere since being elected 30 years ago,” Rizzo continued. The congressman sought assistance for the city after the blizzard of 1978 and was an instrumental force in establishing Revere Beach as a historical landmark, he noted. “Revere adopted Markey as its native son,” he said, adding that the congressman embodies former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill’s oft-stated axiom that “all politics is local.”
“Everyone here helped make this project a reality… [But] none of this would be possible without our Congressman Ed Markey,” said House Speaker Robert DeLeo. “It is fitting that the bridge be named in honor of his family.”
To Mayor Rizzo, DeLeo added, “your vision of Revere is coming to fruition.” Echoing Rizzo’s statements, the Speaker said that he hoped the footbridge will herald further revitalization efforts on the beach.
Other politicians took time to acknowledge Markey’s influence in establishing funding for the Wonderland Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) project, such as the Federal TIGER grant in 2010, which amounted to $20 million. State Senator Anthony Petruccelli said, “Ed Markey has been a champion and continues to be a champion [of Revere].”
To the audience attending the ceremony, Markey said “it was a great day for me personally when I was asked if the bridge could be named for my mother and father.” He recalled memories visiting the beach with his family when he was a child, of his mother packing a picnic lunch and traveling with Markey and his brothers on the Blue Bus from Malden Square to the beach, where his father would later join them after work. He told of how many years later his father took his mother, then suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to the beach to calm her nerves. “We have never known happier days since being on this beach,” he said.
Markey also plugged the positive impact the bridge and TOD station in general will have on future development, citing the half-billion dollar projects—hotel and residential areas—that are planned to line the beach front. In all, he hoped that the development will “put the wonder back in Wonderland.”
But the bridge will serve as a gateway to Revere Beach for the new immigrant families of the twenty-first century, just as those shores drew waves of immigrants a century ago, Markey said. The country’s first public beach was a place for those who did not have summer homes or great wealth, he said. “My mother and father were emblematic of the people who used this beach.”
Students from the Rumney Marsh Academy Percussion Ensemble, under direction of Tom Maffucci, performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and, following the ceremony, a synthesizer-percussion medley of well-known classical favorites, such as “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” “Carmina Burana,” and “Can-can” from “Orpheus in the Underworld.”
After cutting the ribbon, Markey and his family lead the attendees over the footbridge to the third-story plaza on the east side of the Wonderland garage. There, the Malden High School Band, under direction of Matthew Tavares, greeted Markey with a performance of “Kings and Queens” by 30 Seconds to Mars.