At the dedication Thursday of the Pocahontas County Veterans Memorial Bridge in Marlinton, Vietnam veteran and Marlinton town councilmember Norris Long, right, watches as the Pocahontas County Honor Corps presents a 21-gun salute. Long, who spearheaded the effort to name the bridge in honor of all Pocahontas County veterans, conducted the dedication ceremony. S. Stewart photo

Suzanne Stewart
Staff Writer

As far back as is recorded, Pocahontas countians have put aside self interests and answered the call to the military service of the United States.

To honor the sacrifices of all veterans, Vietnam veteran and Marlinton town councilmember Norris Long spearheaded the effort to officially name the bridge over the Greenbrier River in Marlinton, “Pocahontas County Veterans Memorial Bridge.”

With help from members of the Pocahontas County Vietnam Veterans of America and House of Delegates member Bill Hartman, the endeavor concluded successfully and a dedication ceremony was held last Thursday, unveiling the signs with the bridge’s new name.

“This memorial is to recognize the service of all past, present and future veterans who have given part of their lives to the protection of our country – the United States of America,” Long said. “Though many have passed, their memory stays with us. The men and women of Pocahontas County have always stepped forward when called to military duty.”

Long recognized several veterans in attendance at the ceremony including Harold Crist, World War II; Kenneth Faulknier, the Korean War; Rick Wooddell, Desert Storm and current Commander of the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps; David Pritt, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan; and Marine Corpsman Daniel Simmons.

“I also recognize all of those veterans who served during peace time and smaller conflicts,” Long said. “To each of you, this bridge is dedicated.”

Hartman, who is also a veteran, thanked Long for his efforts and spoke about the importance of remembering the sacrifice of all veterans.

“I want to thank everybody that’s here,” he said. “I think this is very important. We’ve got to continue to remember these folks. We cannot forget the service that they provided. I’m sure that every time you cross the bridge now, you’ll think of service to our country.”

As part of the dedication, the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps presented a 21- gun salute, followed by the playing of Taps.

Suzanne Stewart may be contacted at sastewart@pocahontastimes.com