Bridge dedication honors fallen soldier

ARK CITY, Kan. (KWCH) A fallen soldier was celebrated Saturday afternoon with a bridge dedication in his name.

Don Gilbertson says this month twelve years ago his son Kevin was killed in 2007 on active duty in Iraq. He says the bridge dedication and seeing family across the country helps him with the loss.

"It's a lot of respect from people that I do not know and I appreciate it very much," Don said. "And that's part of the healing process, it was losing him and then everything that comes with it."

"The Sergent Kevin Gilbertson Memorial Bridge" was unveiled in Arkansas City because his mother lives there and wanted her son to be remembered. With the help of Gov. Laura Kelly, a bill was passed in April 2019 to name a bridge after Kevin.

The last time the Gilbertson family reunited was three years ago at a funeral. Kevin's aunt Amy Gilbertson says his humor and laugh is what she'll miss the most and that he is the reason the family is reunited this weekend.

"I think of it's kind of the irony of the fact that it is a bridge, that Kevin once again bridges us together as a family," Amy said. "He bridges this community together. I feel very proud of Kevin and the sacrifices he made, not just for this family but everybody."

She says the ceremony gave her and the entire family a sense of pride that Kevin will never be forgotten.