To The Editor:

I am submitting as a name for the new Highway 47 bridge, Ralph Gregory Memorial Veterans Bridge. In selecting an appropriate name I believe the primary focus should be on honoring something uniquely relevant and valuable to the local communities and area it serves. 

With that in mind, I can think of no one individual who contributed more to Franklin and Warren counties, Washington, Marthasville and the surrounding communities, and even the state of Missouri than Ralph, along with the many local veterans who so honorably served the country from the Civil War forward to today.

Throughout his 105 years Ralph had an intellectual curiosity and passion about the history of the area that was truly unique. Through his 25 or more history books on the area he preserved and passed on to past, present and future generations a knowledge that would have been lost without him of who we were and where we came from, to help us as we move forward with our current lives.

He was a rarity and gift we should appreciate and acknowledge for future generations. In addition to his great historical legacy, during World War II he also served as a combat air crew member, served time as a POW, and I think would be proud to be recognized with all the many other veterans of the area who served their country.

The combination of recognizing our veterans for their service and sacrifice for our country and way of life, with the historical contributions of Ralph Gregory would be a fitting tribute to both.