Wolf River Bridge Re-Dedicated To World War I Veterans

A rather large crowd for a rainy holiday turned out on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 to join with the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation and the York Family to rededicate the Wolf River Bridge.

The day marked the 77th anniversary of July 4, 1940, when Sgt. Alvin C. York himself dedicated the then-new bridge spanning the Wolf River on the new Highway 127.

On Tuesday last week, George Edward York, the 93-year-old son of Sgt. Alvin C. York, resplendent in his “Uncle Sam” attire, read the same stirring patriotic speech that his father gave 77 years earlier to officially re-dedicate the bridge as the World War I Centennial Bridge.

Following the event, Deborah York, Executive Director of the Sgt. Alvin C. York Patriotic Foundation and event organizer, commented:  “It’s just been a wonderful and blessed day — almost magic.  It rained while we were in the barn, and it was wonderful to hear the rain beating on the tin roof, and then, just as the time came for the  dedication ceremony, the Lord paused the rain, and we got to go to the bridge and dedicate the World War I Centennial Bridge in the sunshine,”

“This event was one of many special events scheduled for the York Historic Site for the next several months,” Director York added,  “with the next major event scheduled for Veterans Day weekend, November 10-11-12.  These events are part of the Centennial of World War I to recognize the sacrifices and dedication of all those who served, not only in the war, but also those who served on the home front.  This is a way of remembering our past, recognizing where we are at the present, and praying for our futire to be even better than it is today.”

George Edward York, who read his father’s speech from 77 years ago, said that while he felt blessed and honored, he felt that we was not capable of filling the shoes of his famous father.

Col. (Ret) Gerald York, son of George Edward York and grandson of Sgt. Alvin C. York, called it an amazing day, stating:  “Dad will be 94 on the 27th of this month, and to see him be able to do this, particularly after all the medical issues he’s had, is truly a blessing.”

“I think my grandfather would be honored that the bridge has been re-named the World War I Centennial Bridge,” he continued.  “He felt like he was part of something.   It was not him by himself that did the action — it wasn’t him by himself that won the war, but it was a lot of Americans that went, and a lot who didn’t return.”

State Senator Ken Yager also commented on the event, stating:  “Today we had an opportunity to connect with history.  It’s been a day full of events, but the highlight for me was to hear Ed York read his daddy’s speech that was given on this spot in 1940, and the words that he read to us that Sgt. York spoke so many years ago rang just as true today as they did then.  I’ve had a marvelous time, and it’s always good to be here in Fentress County.”

Deborah York also expressed her appreciation to a lot of people who were involved in making the day a very special one.

Read the rest of the story in this weeks Fentress Courier