State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) and Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) introduced companion bills, House Bill 5715 and Senate Bill 1022, today to name a bridge in Ontonagon County the “Ontonagon County Veterans Memorial Bridge.” The bridge is located on Highway M-64 over the Ontonagon River in Ontonagon Township.

“Based on the small population of the county, an unusually large percentage of county residents have been killed in military action,” Dianda said. “I am honored to take part in thanking these heroes in even the smallest possible way. They deserve to be honored, and this is one way we can make sure they are.”

The idea for the bill came from the Ontonagon County Veterans’ Association, which has been in operation for 10 years. The association is composed of members from all the VFW and American Legion Posts in Ontonagon County, and provides operation coordinators and drivers for the Disabled American Veterans Van taking veterans to Iron Mountain for medical service. They also participate in parades and community celebrations.

“Our roads are a symbol of our freedoms. And we have such freedoms today only because of the brave, profound and selfless sacrifice of those that have served our great nation,” said Casperson. “Consequently, although any tribute such as this is truly inadequate, it is one way in which we can express our gratitude for their individual and collective sacrifices, and also ensure we always remember that the freedoms we enjoy today are the result of the sacrifices these brave men and women made in the past. I am grateful to again work with Representative Dianda, and look forward to passing this bill into law as a lasting local tribute to these heroes.”

Dianda said, “It was a pleasure working with Sen. Casperson on this bill. I look forward to quickly passing this legislation and making the bridge an official tribute to our fallen heroes.”