POINT PLEASANT — The annual remembrance ceremony for the victims of the Silver Bridge Disaster will return this Friday.
The memorial event, which began in 2015, will start at 4:30 p.m. at 6th Street. It will take place after the 50th anniversary observance organized by the West Virginia Division of Highways which starts at 11 a.m. that same day, also at 6th Street and will include a reception at 1 p.m. held at the Trinity UM Church community building.
According to event organizer Kenny Grady, the observance will include the lighting of a Christmas tree donated by Mike and David Rawson. The tree, which is currently decorated and sitting outside the Mason County Courthouse entrance, will be lit in memory of the victims.
In addition, there will be a performance by the PPJ/SHS Honor Choir and gospel group Covered By Love from Wheelerburg, Ohio.
Guest speaker Rodney Holbert, an engineer out of Parkerburg, will speak about the bridge inspection regulations which came about as a result of the Silver Bridge’s collapse. Also, Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley will offer a tribute to the late Carolin Harris whose son was killed in the bridge diaster, along with the boy’s father. Harris passed away last year shortly after Christmas. She was a supporter of the bridge memorials and of downtown Point Pleasant.
Grady said the name of each victim will once again be read and this year, the U.S. Coast Guard will have boats on the Ohio and West Virginia sides of the river which will shoot spotlights into the air to “crisscross” in the area where the bridge sat.
Beth Sergent and Erin Perkins contributed to this article.