Stow Bridge To Be Named

STOW – A bridge over Interstate 86 will officially be dedicated to John Stow, a local man killed in action during the Vietnam War.

The town of North Harmony will hold an official dedication of the bridge on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at the Hadley House Restaurant. Stow, who is the younger brother of Frank Stow, town of North Harmony board member, was 18 years old when he lost his life,

The bridge will be dedicated to Stow thanks to legislation which state Sen. Catherine Young, R-C-I-Olean, and Assemblyman Andrew Goodel, R-Chautauqua County, pushed through the state.

Young wrote a letter to the town of North Harmony earlier in the year, asking the town board to support her legislation.

“As you may know, Marine PFC John L. Stow was killed in action in the Vietnam War in 1968,” read Young’s letter. “PFC Stow embodies the type of heroic soldier who dedicated his life to the cause of freedom for our great nation, making the ultimate sacrifice. This bridge would memorialize PFC Stow, including all soldiers that served in Vietnam, as well as all soldiers that have gone missing in action during military service (to) our country.”

According to Nancy Thomas, town clerk, the dedication will be simple, however the public is welcome to attend, and Young and Goodell have been invited to attend as well.

“He was a resident of the town of North Harmony – he was an 18-year-old that gave the ultimate price for our freedom,” Thomas said. “I’m sure it will mean a lot to the family, but it means a lot to (residents) as well. Stow was named after the Stow family; they were founding members of this community. So many members of the Stow family still live here, and I think there will always be members of the Stow family here. They’ve got their roots here, and it’s good to see one who did so much for us get recognized.”

“The whole family feels that it’s an honor that John deserves,” said Frank Stow. “Stow is his hometown and he grew up there. Unfortunately he wasn’t around to see the bridge that will be dedicated to him, because the road was changed following (his death), but he grew up in Stow, and it is fitting that he receives recognition for what he gave for the town, the state and the country.”