Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 52 History

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hcr52 intr

(By Delegates Campbell and Canterbury)

Requesting the West Virginia Division of Highways to name the bridge on I-64 at the intersection of Rt. 219 in Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia the "Gary Wayne Martini Memorial Bridge."

Whereas, Gary Wayne Martini, the son of William Lee Martini and the late Ann Aldridge Martini Humphrey, was born in Lexington, Virginia
on September 21, 1948, and moved at an early age to Greenbrier County, West Virginia with his family; and
Gary Wayne Martini was raised on Germany Road near Frankford, West Virginia and attended Greenbrier County schools in Frankford; and
Whereas, Private First Class Gary Wayne Martini was killed in hostile action on April 21, 1967, at Binh Son, Republic of Vietnam, while serving with the U.S. Marine Corps, Company F, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division
; and
Whereas, Private First Class Gary Wayne Martini was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor
, posthumously, for his heroic actions on the field of battle, which are duly chronicled in this Medal of Honor Citation:
"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On the 21st of April 1967, during Operation UNION elements of Company F, conducting offensive operations at Binh Son, encountered a firmly entrenched enemy force and immediately deployed to engage them. The Marines in Pfc. Martini's platoon assaulted across an open rice paddy to within 20 meters of the enemy trench line where they were suddenly struck by hand grenades, intense small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire. The enemy onslaught killed 14 and wounded 18 Marines, pinning the remainder of the platoon down behind a low paddy dike. In the face of imminent danger, Pfc. Martini immediately crawled over the dike to a forward open area within 15 meters of the enemy position where, continuously exposed to the hostile fire, he hurled hand grenades, killing several of the enemy. Crawling back through the intense fire, he rejoined his platoon which had moved to the relative safety of a trench line. From this position he observed several of his wounded comrades lying helpless in the fire-swept paddy. Although he knew that one man had been killed attempting to assist the wounded, Pfc. Martini raced through the open area and dragged a comrade back to a friendly position. In spite of a serious wound received during this first daring rescue, he again braved the unrelenting fury of the enemy fire to aid another companion lying wounded only 20 meters in front of the enemy trench line. As he reached the fallen Marine, he received a mortal wound, but disregarding his own condition, he began to drag the Marine toward his platoon's position. Observing men from his unit attempting to leave the security of their position to aid him, concerned only for their safety, he called to them to remain under cover, and through a final supreme effort, moved his injured comrade to where he could be pulled to safety, before he fell, succumbing to his wounds. Stouthearted and indomitable, Pfc. Martini unhesitatingly yielded his life to save two of his comrades and insure the safety of the remainder of his platoon. His outstanding courage, valiant fighting spirit and selfless devotion to duty reflected the highest credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country"; and
Gary Wayne Martini gave the last full measure of devotion to his country and to his comrades-in-arms, sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his fellow soldiers; and
Gary Wayne Martini is truly deserving of a fitting tribute in his home State of West Virginia to memorialize his heroic actions and supreme sacrifice; and
Whereas, The bridge on I-64 at the intersection of Rt. 219 is an appropriate edifice to honor this fallen hero, for Gary Wayne Martini lays peacefully resting in Rosewood Cemetery only a quarter of a mile from the bridge; and
Whereas, This bridge
shall henceforth stand as a permanent memorial to Gary Wayne Martini so that his indomitable courage and selfless heroism will never be forgotten, for as it has been so eloquently stated, "Poor is a nation who has no heroes; shameful is a nation who has, and forgets them"; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the members of the Legislature hereby request the West Virginia Division of Highways to name the bridge located on I-64 at the intersection of Rt. 219 in Lewisburg, Greenbrier County, West Virginia the "Gary Wayne Martini Memorial Bridge"
; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the West Virginia Division of Highways erect a sign at both ends of the bridge displaying the name of the bridge and designating that Gary Wayne Martini is a recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the Commissioner of the Division of Highways, to Gary Wayne Martini's father, William Lee Martini, and to other surviving members of his family
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