Defiance’s two Ohio Statehouse legislative representatives — one a senator, the other a state representative — were among the dignitaries commemorating the opening of the city’s new Clinton Street bridge Monday afternoon.

Ohio 1st District Sen. Rob McColley of Napoleon and 82nd House District Rep. Craig Riedel of Defiance each read a commendation from the Ohio General Assembly. The legislators were involved in efforts to have the new structure named the Purple Heart Bridge.

McColley recognized Mack and other veterans before presenting and reading a commendation on behalf of the Ohio Senate.

It reads: “On behalf of the members of the Senate of the 133rd General Assembly of Ohio, we are pleased to congratulate the city of Defiance on the grand opening of its Purple Heart Bridge on Dec. 2, 2019. Made possible through the work of the citizens of the city of Defiance this event provides an ideal time to honor all local veterans who were wounded in combat, for their ... efforts have helped to ensure that our country shines as a beacon of hope and democracy for the peoples of our world.

“On this solemn occasion area residents salute those brave individuals who answered this nation’s call to arms and made great sacrifices in service to the United States of America. The heroic traditions of our Armed Forces are an important part of our American heritage, and we commend our state’s veterans for their willingness to fight and even to die for our country’s democratic ideals.

“On the dedication of the Purple Heart Bridge it is both timely and appropriate that we celebrate them for their selflessness, courage and patriotism. Thus, with great satisfaction we pay tribute to the city of Defiance on the grand opening of the Purple Heart Bridge and applaud all those participating in this observance.”

Riedel praised those involved in the project and congratulated Defiance on completion of the project, saying it is an honor to represent the city in Columbus.

“Way to go Defiance, congratulations,” he said.

Riedel too read a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives on the bridge’s opening.

It states: “On behalf of the members of the House of Representatives of the 133rd General Assembly of Ohio, we are pleased to extend special recognition to the city of Defiance on the occasion of the opening ceremony of the Purple Heart Bridge Dec. 2, 2019. Celebration of this memorable event is indeed a fitting tribute to the city of Defiance, for this fine community has earned the gratitude and appreciation of many.

“The renaming of the former Clinton Street Bridge as the Purple Heart Bridge honors those who have served valiantly in the U.S. Armed Forces, and it is a justifiable source of pride and outstanding reflection not only on the municipality itself, but also on the astute leadership and hard-working employees and on the community as a whole.

“Over the years, the city of Defiance has enhanced the quality of life in our state through its various initiatives, and it is truly deserving of high praise. We are certain that as this community maintains its dedication to honoring the sacrifices of all veterans, past and present, it will continue to prosper and will follow in the tradition of excellence that has become its hallmark. Thus, with sincere pleasure we commend the city of Defiance on the opening ceremony for the Purple Heart Bridge and salute all those who helped bring this project to fruition.”

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