POINT PLEASANT — The Wood Brothers Veterans Memorial Bridge was dedicated on Saturday afternoon in Point Pleasant at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park.
The bridge will be part of the new section of Route 35 over Little Sixteen Mile Creek and County Road 29. The completed roadway is set to open in 2021.
As previously reported by the Register, the bridge is being named to honor the family and children of William L. Wood and Olive V. Medors Wood. The couple, who met when William was stationed in Mason County during World War I, had 11 children — 10 boys and one girl.
Two of the children passed away when they were young, but the eight surviving boys all joined the military and served the country in various branches and wars. The brothers’ names were Charles, Tudy, Emo, Raymond, Don, Bobby, Paul and Bill.
The children grew up in Mason County and many of the brothers participated in efforts to support the county and the City of Point Pleasant, including Fort Randolph and the river museum.
Mason County resident Steve Halstead researched the family to present information to the legislature to have the bridge named in honor of the brothers.
“In doing research, the word I used for the entire family was ‘patriots’,” Halstead said. “What a family dedicated to our country.”
During the dedication, the only surviving brother, Bill and his wife Barbara, unveiled the sign that will be placed on the four-lane bridge.
Point Pleasant Mayor Brian Billings presented a proclamation to the Wood Family during the dedication.
Congresswoman Carol Miller also attended the event on Saturday, releasing this statement to the Register, “Each of the eight Wood brothers embodied the courageous characteristics of an American serviceman and did extraordinary things to support and defend freedom around the world. It was an honor to be part of the Wood Brothers Veterans Memorial Bridge Dedication. With this commemoration, we will ensure everyone who crosses this bridge will remember their service to West Virginia and the United States.”
Other elected officials had representatives attend the event, delivering well wishes — including Brian Aluise from U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin’s office, Alex Vaugh from U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s office and Chief of Staff Mike Hall from Gov. Jim Justice’s office.
Others participating in the program included Pastor Jonathon Pinson who gave the invocation; the WV State SAR, WV Army National Guard, presenting the colors; Lt. Col. (U.S. Army, Retired) Amanda Clark, performed the National Anthem; Commissioner Rick Handley did the introduction of guests.
© 2020 Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Kayla (Hawthorne) Dunham is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, ext. 1992.