Williamsburg renames bridge after Vietnam War veteran John F. Werner

On Sunday, the City of Williamsburg officially renamed the State Street Bridge after a fallen Vietnam soldier.
Published: Aug. 7, 2022 at 10:22 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The City of Williamsburg officially renamed the State Street Bridge the SP5 John F. Werner Memorial Bridge at a ceremony on Sunday.

Werner was born July 23, 1950 and was a 1968 graduate of Williamsburg High School. He enlisted in the United States Army and entered the service via the Regular Army. SP5 Werner served in Vietnam with the 1st Air Cavalry Division as an Aircraft Engine Repairman. His tour began on January 19, 1970.

Werner died at Long Binh, Vietnam on August 23, 1970, after being wounded the previous day in an artillery rocket mortar attack. He is the only Williamsburg native to give his life in service to the country during the Vietnam War. Werner was buried with full military honors at Immanuel Lutheran Church cemetery east of Williamsburg.

Members of the American Legion as well as Werner’s niece and the mayor of Williamsburg spoke at the ceremony. Organizers say they hope this dedication can help honor not only Werner but others who serve. Member of Williamsburg American Legion Kuch-Querl Post 228 Dwane Gragg said

“The whole reason we started this process was just to raise awareness for our young men and women that go off to any branch of the service and also their families, the families that cry when they leave. And whether they come back or not, it’s always the distances and separation on families are tough,” Dwane Gragg, member of the American Legion Kuch-Querl Post 228, said.

Werner also received the Purple Heart for his service in the military.

The Williamsburg city council approved a resolution to rename the bridge on March 14, 2022.

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