New Castle: The Delaware Memorial Bridge as we know it serves as a crossing point to New Jersey. The bridge’s first span began construction in 1949, opening up to traffic in 1951. The bridge took two years to complete and almost didn’t happen due to mounting concerns from both the Delaware and New Jersey ports of authority.
Some of the mounting concerns were in respect to marine safety, claiming it would be a menace to navigate in the Delaware River. The Navy and Coast guard were concerned that the bridge would be vulnerable to enemy attack, and if that was to happen, the Philadelphia Navy yard would have been useless.
In 1968, the second span opened up to traffic, and was dedicated to soldiers from Delaware and New Jersey, who were killed in the Korean War, World War II, and the Vietnam War. Located on the Delaware side of the bridge is a war memorial, also known as the War memorial Plaza, which is visible from the northbound lanes of I-295.
Each year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, ceremonies are held at the War Memorial Plaza to honor and commemorate the sacrifices of the fallen and unknown. Today, such an event took place. Local, state, and national officials paid tribute to the men and women who served in the U.S. military all across the nation.
At the War memorial Plaza, at last year’s event, Governor Markell, as well as several other officials, pledged to end Veterans homelessness by the end of 2015.
Over 100 people attended today’s event, some to honor the fallen they never knew. Also in attendance were Governor Jack Markell and Senator Chris Coons. While no new names were added to the Wall in recent years, last year, names were added to the Kent County Veterans Memorial Park on Little Creek Road in Dover for those fallen in the Middle East conflict.
While those honoring the fallen were in a public event setting, a more private and personal one was happening at the Veterans Memorial on Chesapeake City Rd, where literally thousands of flags were placed at each marker, honoring those who served in previous wars. Families, friends, and loved ones were seen standing over their fallen. Some even brought chairs to sit at the marker as if they had no intention of leaving.
On this Memorial Day, it sure has been a sad day. Wars will never end and will go on until the end of time. We must realize and accept that we will always have sad days like these at least twice a year, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. For the young men and women who are making sacrifices every day, all we can do is thank them and pray they return to their families safe and unharmed; for they are the ones who defend our freedom, protect our homeland, and stand up for our country.