South High Street Bridge to be renamed in honor of veterans

MORGANTOWN — Allie Satterfield wanted to find a way to honor and remember veterans like her grandfather.

Her grandfather served in the United States Air Force as a captain and a physician at Carswell Air Force Base in Ft. Worth, Texas from 1960-1961.

As a member of Morgantown High School’s Key Club, Satterfield and her fellow club members put their heads together and came up with an idea.

On Memorial Day, May 28, that idea will finally come to fruition.

The South High Street Bridge will officially be renamed the MHS Veterans Bridge during a small ceremony at the Monongalia County Board of Education office at 2:30 p.m.

“I am inspired by (my grandfather) daily,” Satterfield said, “but also, I’m inspired by all the veterans and active duty service members who amaze me with their devotion to protect this country. They made such an impact on MHS and this town. It really opened my eyes.”

Making the idea to rename the bridge a reality didn’t happen overnight though.

Satterfield said once they came up with the idea, with the help of MHS’ Key Club sponsor Steven Blinco, she wrote a letter on January 12 to Monongalia County Delegate Joe Statler proposing their idea.

Statler was all for the idea.

“Delegate Statler’s response was very positive and encouraging,” Satterfield said. “He was excited in our interest to honor out veterans in such a big way and was ready to get the process started.”

Then, once the details were finalized, Statler introduced House Concurrent Resolution 100 on March 5 for passage in the West Virginia Legislature.

After it was approved by the Department of Highways, the bill went through and was passed by both the House of Delegates and the Senate on March 10.

“I am so proud that these high school students want to honor the people that put their lives in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we enjoy every day,” Statler said. “Ms. Satterfield worked with me every step of the way, and sent a very passionate letter to me that I was able to share with all the members of the House of Delegates before their vote.”

Statler also said that the South High Street Bridge was ultimately chosen for the honor of being renamed for three reasons: its close vicinity to Morgantown High School and the Monongalia County Schools Board of Education office, and its visibility at the end of the Morgantown Veterans Day parade route.

The ceremony is open for anyone to attend, but in addition to Satterfield, Statler, Blinco and some local veterans groups, Satterfield said some of the MHS veterans that were honored at MHS’ Veterans Day event back in the fall will also be present for the bridge renaming.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony runs from 2:30-3:15 p.m. and will be followed by light refreshments.

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