Gov. Doug Burgum on Tuesday signed the last of five bills naming several bridges on North Dakota state highways in honor of military veterans. Signs will be placed along the highways designating the names of the bridges. The legislation allows the North Dakota Department of Transportation to accept any appropriate signs or funds donated to the department for the placement of signs.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to our military veterans that can never be repaid. Naming these bridges in honor of those who fought and died for their country, and for those who continue to struggle with the mental scars of their military service, is a small gesture of appreciation and a highly visible reminder of their incredible service and sacrifice,” Burgum said. “We thank the bill sponsors, local veterans service organizations and the North Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs for their collective efforts to extend North Dakota’s deepest gratitude to our courageous men and women in uniform who protect our most cherished freedoms.”
The bridges and their new designations are:
- The Highway 18 bridge over the Tongue River in Cavalier has been designated as Veterans Memorial Bridge. (HB 1117)
- The Highway 1806 bridge over the Cannonball River just outside the city of Cannonball has been designated as the PVT. Albert Grass WWI Bridge. Born in Fort Yates, Grass was 22 years old when he was killed in action on July 18, 1918, in France while serving in the Army’s 18th Infantry. (HB 1351)
- The Highway 30 bridge over the James River east of Fessenden has been designated as the Petty Officer Third Class Patrick G. Glennon Vietnam Bridge. Glennon, 23, was among 74 American sailors who drowned during a training exercise in June 1969 in the South China Sea when their destroyer was struck by an aircraft carrier. Because they were outside the combat zone, their names are not included on the Vietnam Veteran Memorial wall in Washington, D.C., though efforts have been made to add them to the wall. (HB 1352)
- The overpass at the intersection of Highway 281 and Interstate 94 in Jamestown has been designated as the Hidden Wounds Veterans Overpass. The name is intended to raise awareness of the mental health struggles that many veterans endure but may not outwardly display. (HB 1354)
- The Highway 6 bridge over the Cannonball River just outside of Breien will be known as the PFC Ronald C. Goodiron Vietnam Bridge. Goodiron, a U.S. Marine from Shields, was killed in south Vietnam on Feb. 28, 1968, at age 20. (HB 1355)