A crowd gathered on Monday morning to name the bridge at Spencer Creek on Highway 70 in honor of a fallen soldier, Jerry Lancaster, who laid down his life for his country in Vietnam.
The bridge is located in County Commissioner Sue Vanatta's 23rd District. The idea for a dedication was presented by Lancaster's childhood friend, Jim Owens, and the resolution was unanimously passed by members of the Wilson County Commission in December 2015.
Vanatta, along with other leaders, reflected on the impact of the Vietnam War.
State Rep. Mark Pody recited facts about Lancaster's life. The late soldier was born in the old McFarland Hospital and raised on Palmer Road.
He graduated from Lebanon High School in 1965 and enrolled in Cumberland College, now known as Cumberland University. However, his higher education was interrupted when he was drafted
Spec. 4 Lancaster, who was remembered to be a great guy with a lot of friends, served in the First Infantry Division, 2nd Battalion 28th Infantry Company H. He was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Campaign Medal and the Purple Heart.
"The Vietnam veterans never got the credit they deserved," said State Sen. Mae Beavers. "It is always an honor to sponsor a resolution to name a bridge or a road or anything after a veteran."
Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead also shared a few words.
Craighead remembered growing up in Pulaski, Tenn. where his father was a Methodist minister.
"One night sitting at the table my dad got a phone call that a member of our church had been killed (in Vietnam). That was a friend of mine," he said. "To know how the Vietnam veterans were treated (when they returned) always bothered me. I am excited today. That wrong can be undone by recognizing those men that sacrificed for us."