|Ceremony held for the Army Corporal Jared William Kubasak Memorial Bridge|
Staff Photo by Charles Boothe:
Daina and Darel Kubasak stand by the sign unveiled Wednesday naming the Route 40 West Pigg River bridge in honor of their son, who was killed in Iraq in 2005.
Friday, May 9, 2014
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
Family, friends and local officials gathered Wednesday morning to unveil signs naming a bridge in honor of a Franklin County fallen soldier.
The Pigg River bridge on Route 40 West is now the Army Corporal Jared William Kubasak Memorial Bridge.
Kubasak was killed in Iraq in 2005, the only soldier from Franklin County killed in that war.
A ceremony for the unveiling of the sign was led by Lt. Col. Tracey Carter (Ret.-Air Force), who along with his JROTC cadets from Franklin County High School raised the funds for the sign.
"I never met him (Cpl. Kubasak) in person," Carter said, "but I know him as a brother in arms."
Del. Charles Poindexter also spoke at the ceremony.
"Franklin County has been at the forefront in leadership," he said, "and has contributed fighters throughout our history."
"We cherish those who give their time and have given their lives," he said. "Franklin County has always cared for its veterans."
Poindexter recognized Cpl. Kubasak's parents, Daina and Darel, and had a special message for them.
"Their son did not die in vain," he said, adding that the Middle East has been a crossroads throughout history and often includes unstable governments.
Poindexter said stabilizing that region is to America's benefit.
"I am sorry (for your loss)," he told the Kubasaks. "We all are sorry. But we can thank God forever for your son."
Rep. Robert Hurt could not attend the ceremony, but he issued a statement.
"It is because of brave Americans like the late Cpl. Kubasak that we as a nation are so fortunate to have the freedom that we do," Hurt said. "We are forever grateful for his service to our nation and the ultimate sacrifice he paid ... this bridge will serve as a reminder to all of the love he had for his community and his country. The blessings we enjoy as Americans would not be possible without our men and women in uniform, and I extend my most sincere sympathy and gratitude to Cpl. Kubasak's family."
Daina Kubasak thanked the crowd for attending the ceremony.
"It's such an honor to have this bridge named in Jared's honor," she said. "Thank you all for being in attendance and making this a special day for us."
The sign was unveiled by ROTC cadets Cyndi Wood and Brittany Carter.
Tracy Carter told the Kubasaks that the sign unveiled is a "surprise" gift to them.
Daina Kubasak described the event as "wonderful" and said she was thankful for all of the support.
The process to name the bridge in honor of Cpl. Kubasak officially began in March 2013, when Carter and Daina Kubasak made a request to the Franklin County Board of Supervisors to begin the process.
Supervisors initially tabled the request pending research on the process and how such requests had been handled by the county in the past.
The board approved a resolution making the formal request in May 2013, and sent it to the Virginia Department of Transportation, which has its own protocol in naming roads and bridges.
That VDOT process was recently completed, with final approval from the Commonwealth Transportation Board.
The bridge is located just west of the intersection of Route 40 West and Six Mile Post Road.
Dignitaries attending the event included supervisors Ronnie Thompson, Bobby Thompson and Cline Brubaker; county Administrator Rick Huff; Sheriff Bill Overton; and Clerk of Circuit Court Teresa Brown.
Rev. Stan Parris, pastor of Franklin Heights Baptist Church, gave the invocation.
Members of the FCHS JROTC presented the colors.