• 72°

VFW Post 755 adopts

state’s first historical site

By JAINE TREADWELL

Features Editor

May 29, 2000 10 PM

Every day thousands of vehicles cross the Pea River bridge about eight miles south of Brundidge. Probably very few give any thought to the old concrete bridge beside it. Surely, they should.

The Veterans Memorial Bridge was built in 1920-21 as a memorial to the 57 men from Dale County who lost their lives in World War I.

Since that time, there have been other wars and many men were lost. Although the bridge was dedicated to "the 57," it has become a memorial to the hundreds of Alabamians and the thousands of Americans who gave their lives from their country.

On Saturday, May 27, VFW Post 755 of Brundidge honored these veterans by adopting the bridge as part of their commitment to their country and their fellowman.

During an impressive ceremony on the river bridge, Henry Middlebrooks, commander of Post # 755, said the post adopted the bridge as part of the PALS Adopt-an-Area program.

In passing the bridge, several members of the post realized that the bridge was being neglected. The bridge was built to honor veterans, Middlebrooks said. "To neglect it, was to dishonor them."

"We discussed it and decided that we would take it as a project and clean it up and maintain it".

Middlebrooks contacted Rep. Alan Boothe to learn what had to be done to officially adopt the bridge as a project.

Boothe said he was unsure himself so he turned to an "old buddy" Don Hines, who works with the statewide PALS (People Against a Littered State) program.

"Don suggested that the post participate in its Adopt-a-Mile program which includes a program just suited for what they wanted to do," Boothe said. "The Adopt-an-Area program is designed for areas such as the Veterans Memorial Bridge that need attention. This was a very worthwhile project and I commend Post # 755 on their dedication and commitment to the veterans of our country."

Hines said he is in awe of of the sacrifices of America’s veterans.

"Many men crossed this bridge as they were mustered into the Army at Ft. Rucker during World War II – some of them to never return."

Hines said VFW Post # 755 was making PALS history by adopting Veterans Memorial Bridge.

"This is the first historic site that has been adopted," he said. "We hope that many other historic sites will be adopted by patriotic groups such as Post #755. They are joining thousands of volunteers all over the state who care about Alabama."

U. S. Rep. Terry Everett also commended the post for their patriotism and caring in honoring its fallen comrades.

"Too many American don’t stop and think of those who gave their lives so that we might enjoy the freedoms we have today," he said. "It is very fitting that this bridge should be kept as a reminder of their sacrifices. It is very fitting that they should be so honored."