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House advances Gabler’s bill to rename Ridgway bridge in honor of veterans


Harrisburg, PA – The state House on Tuesday, Sept. 1 unanimously passed legislation authored by Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) at the urging of Elk County veterans groups, the Borough of Ridgway and the Elk County Commissioners.

House Bill 1954 would designate a portion of U.S. Route 219 in Ridgway Borough as the Elk County Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. PennDOT needs direction from the General Assembly in order to assign commemorative designations.

The bill was introduced and moved forward on the fifth anniversary of the partial collapse of the North Broad Street Bridge in Ridgway.

The bill would rename the bridge after our Vietnam veterans, specifically those who were killed or missing in action.

“Community leaders approached me as they were looking for a way to recognize the men and women from Elk County who served during the Vietnam War Era,” Gabler said. “I’m honored to offer this legislation to commemorate and honor Elk County’s Vietnam veterans.”

The legislation, which may now be considered by the state Senate, will recognize all Elk County Vietnam veterans, and specifically memorialize the following men and women from Elk County who lost their lives in service to our nation during the Vietnam Conflict:

• Jerome Edward Bowers Jr., United States Army
• Larry Wayne Gardner, United State Marine Corps
• Michael Gigliotti, United States Army
• John Paul Paropacic, United States Marine Corps
• Jerome Robert Sain, United States Army
• John Ellsworth Showers Jr., United States Army
• Robert Glenn Willow, United States Marine Corps
• Paul Eugene Yonkie, United States Air Force

Questions about this legislation or any state-related matter may be directed to Gabler’s DuBois office at (814) 375-4688, his St. Marys office at (814) 781-6301 or his Clearfield office at (814) 765-0593.

Watch Rep. Gabler’s video statement on moving the bill forward and how local constituents asked him to help rename the bridge.