Bridges may be named for vets

GIRARD — Continuing its efforts to have bridges in Trumbull County named to honor veterans, Disabled American Veterans Chapter 11 asked Girard City Council to support renaming two bridges in the city.

The chapter is petitioning the state to rename a bridge on U.S. Route 422 near the Ohio Leatherworks property as the Purple Hearts Veterans Memorial Bridge and a bridge on Tibbetts Wick Road near the Girard Dam as World War I / World War II Veterans Memorial Bridge.

“We need council’s blessings to dedicate and name these two bridges in Girard to veterans,” said Robert Marino, a member of DAV and a veteran liaison for state Rep. Glenn Holmes, D-McDonald, and state Sen. Sean O’Brien, D-Bazetta.

Marino and other local veterans spoke with Girard council recently about their plans. The city is preparing legislation for council to give its blessing to renaming the two bridges. Council President Reynald Paolone said council is scheduled to act on the legislation at its May 22 meeting.

Mayor James Melfi said the city supports efforts to honor and recognize veterans.

Marino said plans are to get state approval and have the bridges dedicated by Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

“There are more bridges dedicated to veterans in Trumbull County than any other county in the state of Ohio,” Marino said. “That is something we as Trumbull County residents should be proud of.”

Previously, plans were announced to rename a bridge on state Route 46 spanning Meander Creek in Niles as Sgt. Bruce R. Jones Memorial Bridge. Jones, of Niles, who was killed in Vietnam, served in the 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron and 8th Tactical Fighter Wing.

Also, a portion of state Route 7 between state state Route 82 to U.S. Route 62 will be named Virginia E. “Ginny” Kirsch Memorial Highway. Kirsch, of Brookfield, was with the American Red Cross “Donut Dolls” program.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a bill March 31 for the new names of those to bridges, effective June 30.

In recent years, DAV has been able to get three bridges in Trumbull County named in honor of veterans.

A bridge on Old Route 82 near Up a Creek in Howland was named the Vietnam War Veterans Bridge; a bridge on East Park Avenue near State Street in Niles now is the Korean War Veterans Bridge; and the bridge on West Market in Warren near SCOPE senior center is the Women Veterans Bridge.