Bridge Dedication Ceremony in Forest County Honors Fallen Soldier Michael McLaughlin

McLaughlinTIONESTA, Pa. (EYT) – A bridge dedication ceremony was held in honor of Lt. Col. Michael McLaughlin in Tionesta on Friday, May 13.

McLaughlin was killed in the line of duty while serving in the United States Army.

He was a highly decorated soldier who was the first field grade officer of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard to die in combat since World War II. McLaughlin was killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq on January 5, 2006.

He was a Forest County native and graduated from West Forest High School.

Last November, State Representative Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest) passed House Bill 1579. The legislation ensured that the U.S. Route 62 and Pa. Route 36 bridge above the Allegheny River in Tionesta would be renamed as the Lt. Col. Michael McLaughlin/AMVETS Post 113 Memorial Bridge. The bill passed unanimously in the Pennsylvania House.

The public dedication ceremony was held at the Tionesta Visitor Center and included military and public figure speakers and a cannon volley from the Oil City-based 107th Field Artillery Battery.

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(Photos courtesy of River Rat Photography, Eric George)

(Video courtesy of RepKathyRapp)

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