CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — A ceremony was held today to rename a bridge outside Clarksburg after four brothers, three of whom served in the military during World War II.
The bridge, now known as the Frye Brothers Veterans Memorial Bridge, is located off Route 19 about halfway between Clarksburg and West Milford.
The bridge was named for Thomas, Kermit, Richard and Harold Frye, who, along with their two sisters, lived in orphanages and foster homes in the Clarksburg area after their father was killed in a coal mining accident. Their mother, who was unable to afford to look after her children, decided to split them up until she could afford a better life for her family.
Richard Frye fought in Normandy and Germany as an infantryman during World War II, while his brother Harold, who was also in the Army, served throughout Europe. Richard and Harold were able to return home after the war, but their brother Kermit was killed at sea by a German submarine off the coast of South Africa.
The oldest brother Thomas stayed home to look after their mother and worked at a defense plant while his brothers were at war.
Lou Ortenzio, executive director of the Clarksburg Mission, said that while he was working as a physician in the Clarksburg area, Harold Q. Frye or “Red” was one of his patients, and said he had never heard the story of the Frye family while he worked with Harold
“They would all be willing to serve in some capacity,” Ortenzio said. “They were persistent. I mean Harold Q. Frye, ‘Red’ had to go back several times to try to reenlist. And there’s stories like that all throughout the greatest generation, pushing their way into the service whatever it took.”
Prior to its renaming, the bridge was known colloquially as the Laurel Park Bridge, but now the memory of the Frye family and its service to the country will be able to live on in local communities for generations to come.