ADAMS, Mass. (WWLP) – A funeral mass for western Massachusetts native Officer William “Billy” Evans was held in Adams Thursday.
The western Massachusetts native was saluted by Massachusetts state police troopers and honored by US Capitol Police Officers for losing his life while protecting the capitol earlier this month.
“The Capitol Police everyday, they guard what is the Citadel of American Democracy,” said Congressman Richard Neal.
A private funeral mass was held for Officer Evans at St. Stan’s Church in Adams, just miles from where he grew up in North Adams and Clarksburg. His second grade teacher told 22News how she will remember the little boy in the Red Sox hat at Greylock Elementary School.
“I remember his laugh, his chuckle, his good nature. he was just one of the greatest kids. he was wonderful,” said Suzanne Mendel of Adams.
People lined Park Street waving American flags as the procession made its way to Bellevue Cemetery. This small Berkshires town beaming with hometown and American pride.
“It’s just amazing, the outpouring of all these people. It’s fantastic. He’s known in this town and in North Adams. My heart goes out to the family,” said Judith Blair of Adams.
They say Officer Evans won’t be remembered here for the way that he died. Instead…
“We know that it’s a lot more than just his death. It was the way he lived his life. The Berkshire area should be very proud of him.”Michael Dumass, Hoosick Falls, New York
New overhead electric signs on state highways are honoring the memory of the late U.S. Capitol Officer Evans. 22News saw the traffic sign on 391 South Thursday morning read, ‘Rest in Peace USCP Officer William Evans.
During a procession Wednesday night, the body of Officer Evans was taken from Bradley International Airport, to his final resting place in Adams. Police departments from across the region lined highway overpasses along his route, paying their respects.
President Joe Biden and congressional leaders paid respects to Officer Evans in the Capitol Rotunda Tuesday. Members of the National Guard lined the street and saluted as the hearse carrying Evans’ flag-draped casket entered the Capitol complex. His former colleagues gathered on the Capitol’s East Plaza Front while church bells rang in the distance. His family, including his two children, gathered to watch as his casket was carried up the Capitol steps.
Evans was killed earlier this month when a car rammed into a barricade outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC.