Bridge near historic landmark to be renamed for York County soldier
After Cherriney Kondor lost her son to combat in Iraq, she helped dedicate a special memorial to honor all veterans lost in the war on terror.
The Veterans Memorial Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden in York City was established in 2012, according to its website, eight years after U.S. Army Specialist Martin Wilson Kondor lost his life while serving in a security detail.
Now he will receive his own memorial — a bridge renamed in his honor.
Kondor: Pfc. Kondor, an Eastern York High School graduate, died in 2004 as a member of a personal security detail in Baqubah, Iraq, a news release states.
According to the release, he earned a Purple Heart for his sacrifice, as well as a Bronze Star medal with "V" device — V for valor in the line of duty.
The "V" device Bronze Star is more rare — awarded with only one in 40 Bronze Stars — indicating performance under fire at great personal risk, according to an article in Time.
The state House of Representatives endorsed a bill by Rep. Keith Gillespie, R-Hellam Township, to rename the Furnace Road bridge, which crosses Codorus Creek between East Manchester and Hellam townships, the Martin Wilson Kondor Memorial Bridge.
After being passed unanimously Monday, Feb. 5, the bill now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf for a signature.
Codorus Furnace: The bridge runs next to the historic Codorus Furnace, built in 1765 and operated until 1850, according to Hellam Township's website.
According to the story on the site, the furnace was used to cast cannons and cannon balls used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the furnace is the oldest remaining landmark of the iron industry in York County, the website states.
“The bridge we’ll be renaming is a place where (Kondor) enjoyed fishing as a child,” Gillespie said in a statement. "This young man served his country admirably, and his mother has taken her loss and used it to create an incredible tribute to families in similar circumstances."
The garden: Founded by Cherriney Kondor with the help of board members, York City and the Gold Star families of Pennsylvania, the Gold Star Healing and Peace Garden is a memorial to those who lost their lives in the war on terror, according to its website.
The site reads that the memorial was named to reflect American Gold Star Mothers, formed in 1928 in response to lives lost in World War I. Gold Star now refers to anyone who has lost a loved one in the military, the website states.
"You will find here all the names of the Pennsylvania fallen in the war on terror," the website reads. "In addition all the York County fallen from the time of the founding of the American Gold Star Mothers are also inscribed on the black Pennsylvania granite Wall of Honor."