Cumberland County bridge named for Vietnam War veteran

NEWVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) – In Cumberland County, just outside of Newville, Route 641 crosses the Conodoguinet Creek.

“This is a highly traveled road considering it only goes from Newville to Newburg,” said Ray Barrick, who lives nearby.

The bridge is in the perfect place and was replaced at the perfect time.

“New project, new bridge,” said Rep. Mark Keller (R-Perry/Cumberland) “It was their 50th reunion for that class and the reason they picked that bridge is it’s close to his home.”

On Wednesday, the bridge was dedicated as the Army Pfc. Harold “Sam” E. Barrick Memorial Bridge.

At age 20, Sam Barrick was drafted into the Army to fight in Vietnam.

“That was tough because we hoped that he would come back, but there was always that thought he might not come back,” his brother Ray Barrick said.

Sam Barrick didn’t come back. He died after his military vehicle hit a landmine.

“It was right around Easter time that year, so it was kind of a shock when the guys came up to tell us the news,” Ray Barrick said.

“We’re paying tribute to somebody that gave his life that that bridge could even be built,” Keller said.

At that bridge, Ray Barrick unveiled a sign bearing his brother’s name.

“They wrapped it up so good we had to cut the tape, and then my arms weren’t long enough and I wasn’t tall enough. We finally found a stick to push it off the rest of the way,” he said.

More than 50 friends and family members were there for the ceremony. Although Sam Barrick went before them, they hope he’ll be remembered long after they’re gone.

“Hopefully they’ll try to find out who he was, those that don’t know him. Hopefully their children will appreciate the freedom they thought to give them,” Ray Barrick said. “It’s a reminder because, you know, before if you wanted to see anything like that, you had to drive to Washington, to the wall, which I’ve done several times. But you know, every time you go out here there’s a sense of pride. I can say to my grandchildren, ‘that’s your great uncle’s name.’ “

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