Heath Robinson Memorial Bridge considered

first_img Categories: News 23Oct Heath Robinson Memorial Bridge considered House panel hears father, Foster testimony to honor war heroDan Robinson of joined state Rep. Frank Foster before the House Transportation Committee this week to provide testimony on naming the U.S.-2 bridge over the Cut River the Heath Michael Robinson Memorial Bridge. Heath was killed in action Aug. 6, 2011 in Afghanistan during a Navy SEAL rescue mission.The US-2 bridge crossing the Cut River in Mackinac County could be renamed to honor Heath Robinson, a 1995 Petoskey High School graduate and Navy SEAL who was killed in action Aug. 6, 2011 when a Chinook Helicopter he was in with about three dozen other military personnel was shot down in Afghanistan.State Rep. Frank Foster is working on House Bill 4957 with Hendricks Township residents and businesses to recognize Special Operator Senior Chief (Navy SEAL) Heath Michael Robinson’s service and sacrifice, while maintaining the legacy of the Cut River area.This week, Foster welcomed Robinson’s father, Dan Robinson, to provide testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the legislation.“It would truly be an incredible honor for the Robinson family, the state of Michigan and the United States of America, to acknowledge a Michigan heroic warrior by aligning Heath with such a magnificent structure, the Cut River Bridge,” said Robinson of Emmet County. “People from coast to coast and around the world travel over this passage some 140 feet above the Cut River’s bottom and cruise the magnificent 600-feet plus span to safely arrive on the opposite side. I am  sure Heath would take great pride knowing he still is working diligently to protect and serve this great nation and her citizens, and this will be his new mission, always guarding against any foe, always protecting freedom!“Heath is buried in Arlington National Cemetery as a permanent memorial — the memorial bridge will pay tribute to all our fallen heroes, and the merger between Heath Michael Robinson and the Cut River Bridge will be a great story shared with visitors for years to come, with the pride for which this great nation was built.”The bridge is located about 25 miles west of the Mackinac Bridge and was selected for the memorial as a link to Heath’s great-grandfather and grandfather, who built bridges all over Michigan, according to his mother, Debora Robinson-Coxe of Moran Township, in written testimony. She said he also often traveled over this particular bridge often while visiting friends, and it served as a connection between Heath’s two favorite places – Mackinac Island and Coronado Island, California.“There are many similarities between my son, the warrior, and the bridge,” she wrote. “Heath was a Navy SEAL sniper; the bridge is located in a wooded area and is mostly hidden from view. Heath was silent, unpretentious, and did the job he loved, much like the Cut River Bridge. I can image his teammates repelling off it, climbing up it, or simply raising a glass at the base of the bridge to honor the memory of all the fallen heroes. Something to share is that even as brothers in arms, SEALS are extremely competitive, and the challenge of whose bridge is taller, wider, stronger, longer, or better looking brings a smile to my face, because at some 147 feet above the ground, Heath’s bridge might be one of the tallest. And I love that this bridge is close to home.”A 34-year-old chief petty officer, Robinson was born in Alma, MI, joined the U.S. Navy in January 1996 and served on six Special Warfare Units from 2000 to 2011.Robinson was killed while attempting to re-enforce U.S. Army Rangers under fire in the single largest loss of U.S. troops in the 10-year war in Afghanistan.He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors, leaving behind a wife, daughter, his parents and two brothers.Foster said the bill remains before the transportation committee while some technical revisions are worked out.“The loss of a father, husband, son, brother and friend can never be replaced,” said Foster, R-Petoskey. “Heath’s family, friends and all of us can be proud of his commitment to bring freedom and democracy to people throughout the world, and his sacrifice in serving to help rescue his comrades in arms. Memorializing Heath at the Cut River Bridge recognizes the life and memory of a special person at a special place.”last_img read more