POINT PLEASANT — Residents of Point Pleasant and surrounding areas gathered together in remembrance yesterday evening.
The third annual Silver Bridge memorial observance was held at 4:30 p.m. on 6th street. The PPHS Honor Choir welcomed the gathering guests by singing Christmas carols.
Mayor Brian Billings introduced the Point Pleasant Sons of the American Revolution color guard and Ted Nance who led the audience in prayer. Nance shared that one of the members of the audience was a survivor from the Silver Bridge collapse. William Edmondson made his way from King, N.C. to attend both Silver Bridge remembrance ceremonies.
Commissioner Rick Handley spoke on behalf of the late Carolin Harris who passed away last December. Handley shared quotes by Vince Lombardi,
“The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have,” said Handley.
He expressed that Harris was a person who would help whoever was in need. Whether it was helping businesses on Main Street or assisting Jeff Wamsley with the Mothman festival, Harris was there with a helping hand.
“There is only one way to succeed in anything and that is to give it your everything,” said Handley.
He said this quote fits Harris perfectly because she was very instrumental with events in the community including assisting Kenny Grady with this event. During the first observance, Harris had the honor of reading some of the names, including that of her son, James Timothy Meadows, however the honor has now been passed down. The names were read between three speakers this year.
“I’m glad it’s cold today,” said Rodney Holbert. “I’m glad because it will help us remember how cold it was 50 years ago.”
Holbert is an engineer from Parkersburg and spoke to the audience about the professional connection he has with the Silver Bridge. Holbert shared that he has been a bridge inspector for 32 years and explained how bridge inspection protocol changed in 1968 to every public bridge must be inspected every two years. He said this change was not primarily brought forth because of a fallen bridge, it was primarily brought forth because of the 46 lives lost on that bridge.
The event came to conclusion with Cody Smith from the gospel group Covered by Love performing as Grady assisted Hadleigh Cossin and Annie Atwood in the lighting of the memorial tree.
Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.