Knoxville State Senators Becky Duncan Massey and Richard Briggs have announced that a bridge naming ceremony will be held on Wednesday to honor fallen Knoxville veteran, 1st Lieutenant Robert W. Saunders.  The bridge spans State Route 162 on Dutchtown Road in Knoxville.


Lt. Saunders, a United States Marine, made the ultimate sacrifice on June 17, 1970, when his plane crashed in inclement weather during a routine flight mission near Yakota Air Base, Japan.


“The men and women of our military give so much to defend our freedoms,” said Sen. Massey. “Dedicating this bridge to Lt. Saunders is the least we can do to honor his courageous service.”


The ceremony will take place at 10:00 a.m. EST at the Shepard of the Hills Church located at 10231 Sherrill Blvd. in Knoxville.  Tennessee Department of Veterans Affairs Many-Bears Grinder will also attend the event.


“We are also pleased to have Commissioner Grinder at the ceremony as we honor this distinguished Marine,” added Sen. Briggs.  “This bridge will now stand as a reminder of the price paid for our country by one of Knoxville finest sons.”


The naming of the bridge is the result of the passage of Senate Bill 1473 supported by Briggs and Massey and passed by the General Assembly earlier this year.