ELKINS, W.Va. – The Elkins Marine Corps League hosted a bridge dedication for Marine Corps Veteran Dennis Warren Baxter Saturday.
The Gum Lick Run Bridge on U.S. Route 48 is now officially the USMC Private First Class Dennis Warren Baxter Memorial Bridge.
Baxter served in Vietnam and was killed on January 26, 1967 as a result of multiple gunshot wounds after his platoon was attacked by a large North Vietnamese Army force while crossing Song Thu Bon River on “Operation Tuscaloosa” in Quam Nam Province, South Vietnam.
The bridge dedication serves to honor the Elkins Native, who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Representatives of Alex Mooney, Delagate William Hartman and other members of the community joined to commemorate Baxter’s memory.
Vice Commandant of the Elkins Marine Corps League, Rodger Ware, explained that this dedication will go on to impact many in the future, just like Baxter did.
“Well what happens when they cross over that bridge and see that person’s name with the rank and their branch of service,” Ware explained. ” The Marines will go, ‘OOHRAH, great!’ some people that might know him might say, ‘wow, great!’ Those that don’t know him will say, ‘oh who’s that guy?’ So that’s the impact. The impact is that bridge will always be named for Dennis Baxter.”
Ware emphasized that the dedication for Baxter would not have been possible without the help of delegate William Hartman and all his efforts.