Two bridges over creeks in Delaware County have been named for 2 fallen servicemen who loved to fish in the area.
A crowd gathered for the dedication ceremony along Route 97 in the Town of Hancock near Long Eddy.
One bridge was named for Staff Sergeant Justin Whiting while the other was named for Lieutenant Cameron Hall.
Both men sacrificed their lives during the Iraq War.
Whiting was a Green Beret medic who died in 2008 when his Humvee was struck by an IED.
Hall was a Navy pilot who died when the plane he was in crashed while taking off from an aircraft carrier.
While Hall grew up in Louisiana, his parents were from Hancock and Hall spent a lot of time visiting his grandparents and fishing in the area.
But his cousin Cliff Crosby says his true love was flying. “He loved the thrill of taking off and landing on a carrier, and while others may do just enough to qualify or stay qualified, I recall that Cameron had a goal of making 400 takeoffs from the carrier deck. Cameron did not have to be on the plane that took off on the 15th of August, 2007 but he wanted to be there. He didn’t want to be anywhere else. He was doing what he loved to do and he made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Whiting’s father Randy says Justin had enlisted for his third tour of duty in Iraq when he was killed. He says the bridge dedications are fitting tributes. “Cameron and Justin both loved this area. They both loved to hunt and to fish. And Justin drove his truck, The General, up and down Rt. 97 countless times. Both our boys would be honored and humbled to have these bridges named in their honor. We certainly are.”
Both families thanked the efforts of former Hancock Supervisor Sam Rowe and current Supervisor Jerry Vernold for their efforts in creating the dedication, as well as Assemblyman Cliff Crouch and State Senator Fred Akshar for sponsoring the legislation that made it official.