The Sandyville Bridge on Liverpool Road has been renamed in honor of a military veteran who was killed in Vietnam.
During a ceremony on Tuesday, the bridge was renamed the U.S. Marine Corps PFC Charles Everett Hurd Memorial Bridge. Delegates Steve Westfall, Rick Atkinson, Josh Higginbotham and others in the House of Delegates authored House Concurrent Resolution 20 to establish the name change.
Westfall was master of ceremonies and read the resolution. Atkinson led the Pledge of Allegiance, and Jackson County Commission President Dick Waybright led the invocation. American Legion Post 107, Ripley, provided a 21-gun salute and the playing of taps. Post 107 Commander William Stephens spoke to the crowd, along with Hurd’s nephew Gary Lanham.
“What an honor it is to honor these young men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” Stephens said.
Hurd was born Nov. 12, 1946, in Sandyville, the son of Verner P. Hurd and Myrtle E. Hurd. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on Sept. 2, 1964, serving with the Headquarters and Service Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, and Third Marine Amphibious Force.
He died Aug. 3, 1966, at Phu Bai in Thua Thien Province, Vietnam. He was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, the National Defense Medal, and the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals.
“Charlie was six weeks older than my brother, Roger. So he was an uncle but he was more like a brother to us. This really means a lot to the family. I don’t know what I could say about my uncle Charlie. I always remember that he was scheduled to come home. He was trying to keep it a secret. His body actually arrived home just about the day he was scheduled to come home. He was that close to coming home,” Lanham said.
Westfall said Tuesday’s ceremony was part of an ongoing effort to honor all Jackson County veterans who gave their lives in service of their country.
“There are nine Vietnam veterans, that we know of, who have been killed in action. This is the seventh bridge we’ve done in Jackson County. We have two more to do for the Vietnam veterans,” he said.