Sunday, August 1, 2021

Newly renamed Veteran’s Bridge to be celebrated

A draft plan for the dedication ceremony to be held in honor of the recent renaming of Veteran’s Bridge was drawn up by the Plattsburgh City Council March 3 at their weekly Tuesday evening meeting.

The Council is still in the process of finalizing plans and raising funds for the ceremony, which will be held May 23 at 11 a.m., but Plattsburgh City Councilwoman Becky Kasper noted the list of possibilities includes a chorus, a gun salute and an escort for veterans attending the event.

“So many people have members of their families who have served and given their lives,” said Kasper, who called Memorial Day a “fitting day” for the ceremony, noting the high number of Army personnel, active and retired, that reside in the Plattsburgh area.

The atmosphere at the Council’s meeting on Tuesday was “very positive,” Kasper said. Approximately 25 veterans were in attendance, as well as Promotions and Special Events Coordinator for the City of Plattsburgh Sandra Geddes.

“Everyone was very excited,” Kasper said.

Geddes, who took the position at the end of January, has fundraising experience. She previously worked as the Relay Coordinator for the American Cancer Society as well as the manager of community outreach at Champlain Valley Physician’s Hospital Medical Center.

Prior to Tuesday evening’s meeting, Kasper said that people can most likely expect music, a color guard, speakers and the bridge’s new sign to be unveiled. The Memorial Day parade route will also likely be altered to include crossing the bridge.

The decision to change the name of the bridge from its original name, Bridge Street Bridge, to Veteran’s Bridge was approved unanimously by the Council at their Dec. 4 meeting. Several veterans were in attendance for what Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon called an “emotional moment,” according to a WNBZ News report.

Kasper said the Council has not received any opposition regarding the renaming and dedication process.

“It was almost a no-brainer,” Kasper said.

The idea was originally brought to the Council by a citizen named Lenny LaValley who “called every single councilor and the mayor” about the idea, Kasper said. LaValley, who is a veteran himself, then presented his idea to the Council.

“The next week I wrote the resolution,” Kasper said.

Councilman Paul O’Connell has been at the forefront of the movement to dedicate to the bridge. O’Connell, whose father was a veteran, remembers all the stories he heard from his father when he was growing up about his days of “fighting for his country.”

“This naming of the bridge is one small token of our appreciation to those who served our great country,” O’Connell said.

The actual renaming of the bridge will not cost the city any money. However, Kasper estimates the new sign will cost around $200.

The next Plattsburgh City Council meeting is scheduled for March 19 at City Hall. The public is invited to attend and share their opinions. Council rules dictate the public wait until the designated time in the meeting for comments, be recognized by a presiding officer and respect the five-minute speaking limit.

Email Thomas Marble at thomas.marble@cardinalpointsonline.com

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