South Florida Bridge Being Dedicated To Gold Star Families

It's Gold Star Families Remembrance Week and a local Gold Star daughter is hosting a bridge dedication ceremony Wednesday.

Lauren Berkson's father was killed in action in Vietnam when she was just ten months old, and she's been working hard for the past few years to place Gold Star Families memorial markers all over the county.

"All of it is just so important for people to recognize the selfless act that these heroes make for our way of life."

The Palm Beach County Commission last month approved a resolution to erect a marker on the so-called "Burnt Bridge" that takes you to Singer Island from North Palm Beach. It will now be named the "Gold Star Family Memorial Bridge Dedicated to Army Captain Joseph M. Berkson."

The ceremony will take place nearby at Ocean Reef Park in Riviera Beach to allow for parking and social distancing.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure we honor our Gold Star families and our fallen heroes, but at the same time make sure people are safe."

There will be a vehicle honor parade after the event.

"The Gold Star families will be escorted by the Patriot Guard riders to the bridge at the end of the ceremony, so the loved ones can lay a flower in the water for their loved one."

Palm Beach County Gold Star Families worked with Democrat State Senator Bobby Powell and his staff to pass the legislation needed to make this a reality.

Berkson says Republican State Rep. Rick Roth proved invaluable, as well as support from County Commissioner Hal Valeche, a veteran himself.

"This is a bipartisan issue if you will. Our service members, they serve for everyone and they die for everyone. They don't care what political affiliation you have. They don't care what color you are, what religion you are. They die for everyone and it's important for people to acknowledge that sacrifice for all of us."

One year ago, Berkson stood at Trinity Park in West Palm Beach for the dedication of the city's Gold Star Families Memorial Monument. Since then, smaller Memorial markers have been erected throughout the area.

Photo: Getty Images

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