A Spring Grove bridge was named Tuesday to honor the life of Army Spc. Cameron Stambaugh, who died while serving in Afghanistan two years ago.
Scheduled on the second anniversary of Stambaugh's death, his father Mitchell Stambaugh said the ceremony helped him "get through the day."
Mitchell Stambaugh has walked across the Route 116 bridge every workday for 24 years to get from a parking lot to his job at the Glatfelter paper mill. From now on, he'll see the signs that mark the structure as the Specialist Cameron J. Stambaugh Memorial Bridge.
"It's quite humbling," Mitchell Stambaugh said. "Tomorrow, it's going to take on a whole new meaning."
Stambaugh died July 8, 2012, one of six NATO service members killed when an armored vehicle he was traveling in was demolished by a bomb.
The 2010 Spring Grove Area High School graduate was 20 years old.
Sign unveiling: At the ceremony, Stambaugh was honored by several community members, including Phil Palandro, director of veterans' affairs for York County.
Palandro said no size of bridge, even the Golden Gate, would be able to fully encompass the sacrifice Stambaugh made for his community and country.
"That young man served his country and lost his life," Palandro said. "They could not make a structure big enough to cover that."
Spring Grove Mayor Delores Aumen said the signs would help to remind the community of Cameron Stambaugh's sacrifice. "We are the land of the free because of the brave," Aumen said.
The ceremony included a rifle salute and the playing of "Taps" after the unveiling of the sign to name the bridge.
The bridge was officially named after state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township, sponsored House Bill 1431 to make the change. The bill was signed into law in May.
Mitchell Stambaugh said besides the bridge, he has also constructed a memorial garden at his Orchard Road home to remember his son. Among flowers and other plants, the garden includes three flags and a soldier's cross made out of walnut, he said.
- Reach Nikelle Snader at firstname.lastname@example.org.