Elected officials, business and community leaders, area veterans, and residents gathered to pay tribute to a fallen war hero and designate the Church Street Bridge in Honesdale, Wayne County, as the Brigadier General Richard J. Tallman Memorial Bridge.
The dedication ceremony included remarks from Honesdale High School Principal Timothy Morgan and Major Andrew Pannier of the United State Military Academy at West Point. Mrs. Evelyn Tallman was joined by family and friends, and expressed her immense pride that such an honor was bestowed upon her husband.
Born in Honesdale in 1925, Brigadier General Richard J. Tallman served in World War II and received a battlefield commission following the Battle of the Bulge. He graduated from West Point Military Academy in 1949. He was killed in action on July 9, 1972, during the Battle of An L?c in South Vietnam.
Senator Baker offered the following remarks as part of the ceremony:
In our skeptical age, some question why we spend time on honorary designations such as a bridge naming. The community interest and pride evident in this dedication provide the compelling answer.
Through this effort, another generation has come to know the valor and values and virtues of Brigadier General Richard J. Tallman.
In the years to come, people who travel this way will see the name and find out who he was, what he did, and what he stood for. It will mark for the world that Honesdale was home to an authentic American hero.
For us, it will serve as a constant reminder of a committed soldier, a consummate leader, and a great man. Here, we have a physical monument to match the memories in our hearts.
We are awed by those today who serve multiple tours of duty in Afghanistan and Iraq. General Tallman fought in three major conflicts that spanned four decades. In his third war, he did four tours of duty. It is hard to find a better example to fit the phrase “service above and beyond the call of duty.”
There is no way to count how many individuals he trained, taught, and looked out for, or how many lives he touched in a positive and lasting way.
When you look at the details of his military career, when you see the respect and reverence on the part of those who knew him and served with him, when you see the constant thread of character running through his family, his is a life story more inspirational than any legend.
Our remembrance of him, our respect for his life of service, our appreciation of the freedoms and principles he fought for and died for, these are the gifts a grateful community can give to his wife, his children, and his grandchildren.
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