SUMMERHILL, Pa .– As an 18-year-old Harry Lewis Amigh enlisted in the military in the late 1940s, as the United States struggled to create stability in Europe and Asia in the aftermath of the destruction and chaos caused by World War II.
Fredrick Kinley joined the military in a very different way. He was enlisted in February 1944, when he was already a 37-year-old father.
Both died in the line of duty.
The two Cambria County natives were honored Thursday when the bridges were officially named in their honor in separate ceremonies.
Pvt. The Fredrick Kinley Memorial Bridge carries Route 53 over the Little Conemaugh River in Croyle Township, just outside of Summerhill, and Sgt. Harry Lewis Amigh Memorial Bridge carries Benshoff Hill Road on Hinckston Run in Jackson Township.
“It is so important to keep the memory alive of what so many great men and women have done on behalf of our country,” said Senator Wayne Langerholc Jr., of the Township of R-Richland. “It’s so important. These remind everyone who passes by the sacrifices that have been made in the name of our country to keep us free. “
Kinley, born in Portage in 1907, served in the Army’s 313th Infantry Regiment as part of an anti-tank company until he was killed in action on December 14, 1944. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
“I’m proud of what he has done,” said his son, George Kinley.
Kinley is buried in the Lorraine American Cemetery in Saint-Avold, France.
“It’s just amazing,” said his grandson, Eugene Kinley. “It has been preparing for 76 years. I never knew him. My father, unfortunately, never really knew him either. He was never able to go anywhere to talk to his father, or say goodbye to his father, never had a shutdown. We hope that will give him some closure and that he can come to the bridge and visit and put flowers, just like anybody else in a cemetery.
Amigh, a native of Jackson Township, born in 1930, served in the military during the occupation of Germany after World War II and later died during the Korean War on November 28, 1950.
His brother, James Amigh, recalled that they were together on the Benshoff Hill Road bridge which now bears his name.
“I crossed the bridge with my brother when I was a teenager, or something,” Amigh said, “so every time we drive a car we’ll be thinking of him.”
Amigh said her brother wouldn’t have liked a bridge named after her.
“He was like a private person,” said their sister, Kathy Grove. “Our whole family was like that, really. There were 13 of us, and that’s how we were.
Dave Sutor is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5056. Follow him on twitter @Dave_Sutor.