POINT PLEASANT — This Dec. 15 will mark the 50th anniversary of the Silver Bridge collapse.
The West Virginia Division of Highways is working with the City of Point Pleasant to provide a ceremony to note the solemn occasion. Though plans are still being finalized, at least one meeting about the event has been held between WVDOH officials, county and city officials and volunteers.
A tentative itinerary includes a memorial service early in the day on Dec. 15 at the 6th Street Bridge Memorial, followed by a reception at Trinity UM Church and its community building. According to multiple sources, the details are still being finalized as is the guest list that could include a national speaker to highlight the national impact the tragedy had. Because of the bridge collapse, a national bridge inspection system was put in place across the country.
Also, there will continue to be a memorial service at the 6th Street Bridge Memorial later in the afternoon, near the time of the actual collapse around 5 p.m. This will be the third year for the service which was initiated by local Kenny Grady and volunteers.
More details on these events as they become available.
Also, in Gallipolis, Ohio, Bossard Memorial Library, Gallia County Chamber of Commerce, and the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau are also teaming up to honor those lost when the Silver Bridge Collapsed on Dec. 15, 1967.
Part of the memorial service will be a display of written accounts of that day by anyone that has memories and can recount the events of the collapse. They will tell the different stories of people’s memories of that day from their individual perspective, with the hope of understanding how the collapse initially affected Gallia County.
Written accounts will be on display at Bossard library as part of the memorial on the week of Dec. 15. Submissions can me sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or brought in to the bureau office on Second Avenue. Bossard will contribute to the display with some of their content about the collapse; books, photos, and possibly blown up microfiche images of newspaper articles.
Also on display that day will be images from Dec. 15, 1967 of the bridge played on the projection screen in the River Room. Part of the evening will include a reading of the names of those who died in the collapse and recounts of that day.
“The main goal is to honor the 46 that died on that day,” said Kaitlynn Halley, assistant director at the visitors bureau. “We wanted to choose something simple and respectful.”
The ceremony will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 15 in the Riverside Room at Bossard, with refreshments available. To learn more about the event, contact the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau at 740-446-6882 or visit it at 441 Second Avenue in Gallipolis.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.