Woody would be honoured in many ways over the years. A state National Guard armoury would be renamed in his honor. There would also be a bridge so named at Barboursville West Virginia in his honour back in 2001. A current move wants a warship named for him. And so it should be.
Years later a good friend of Woody's... Dave Shively started talking to Woody about an idea he had. He thought there should be one bridge that could be renamed to bring honour to all of the Medal of Honor recipients. These would go back to Civil War days, would also include all those of the current time and even those in the future so awarded. Once this was done, his bigger picture would have this being an example of what could be done all across the US by the individual states, counties and even local governments everywhere.
Soon support for the idea grew and in May of 2011 a bridge along Country Road 500 East in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County Indiana, crossing over the Hoosier Heartland Corridor was selected for the honor. It would quite simply be called ... the Medal of Honor Bridge.
The bridge is located about 75 miles south of Chicago and some 280 miles west of Detroit. Most interesting that the north east corner of the state is just a few hundred miles from the Canadian border at Windsor and Detroit. The bridge now representing all MOH recipients, also includes those from Canada. The bridge could perhaps be seen as the symbolic bridge between our two nations.
It is hoped this ceremony will spur others on to take steps to name bridges and other structures across the US for these heroes. Canadians take note that we need to be doing much more of this for ALL our MOH and VC recipients.
Travelling eastward, there is a similar move in the state of New York where it is said that one out of 4 Medal of Honor recipients had a connection to the state . Many of these came from Canada as well. Senator Pat Ritchie has organized a display recognizing some of the 45 Medal of Honor recipients that came from her political jurisdiction. The display called the Hometown Heroes will be making its way throughout her state in museums and libraries and other public places during the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.
Planning to take recognition even higher the senator has introduced legislation that would see some of the more than 20,000 bridges in the state renamed in honour of these men...and the lone woman from her state...Mary Walker who also was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Information can be found on the net about her efforts. But I would like to share this poster, symbolic of the others in her display.....
Regular visitor to this site known that James Allen came to the US from Canada and earned his Medal of Honor during Civil War days.
Later after his term of service ended he reenlisted in a railway unit. He actually worked on the building of the touring railway car for President Abe Lincoln.
But Abe saw the final product and did not like it.. he thought it was too elaborate and never road in it.
At least not while alive.
After he was assassinated the inside of the railway car was dismantled and rebuilt to accommodate the Lincoln coffin that travelled along so many miles and stops before finally getting to its place of rest.