Corporal Gene William Somers Junior of the United States Marine Corps was killed in action by hostile fire in the Vietnam War in March of 1969. Now, more than 45 years later, Harrison County officials and his hometown of West Milford are making sure his legacy will live on forever.
They dedicated the Corporal Gene William Somers Junior Memorial Bridge in his honor this afternoon on Route 270 in West Milford.
Somers's family shared memories of him with hundreds of residents in attendance - many of whom attended Somers' funeral years ago.
Somers's sister, Marie Hill, says this bridge serves as a memorial for all veterans in the community.
"This is a very visible way for people to remember the service of not only him, but of so many others in our community that have served their country," said Hill.
"It's a national healing. It's a community healing. Historically, as everyone probably knows, Vietnam vets were not treated well when they came home. This is part of that healing for them," said Dave Rowan of the West Virginia Patriot Guard Riders.
Somers is the only known resident from West Milford to be killed in action during war.
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