Community covenant signing highlights 19th annual event.
As the King’s Park Concert Band played marching songs in front of American Legion Post 176, Col. Michael Greenberg, Fort Belvoir Garrison commander, along with local, civic and business leaders, led a march across a short, Springfield bridge. Behind him were Soldiers from Headquarters Battalion, Belvoir Hospital, 249th Engineer Battalion, along with many other Service members, family members and supporters from Belvoir’s units and mission partners.
The Springfield BridgeWalk observes long-standing bonds between Springfield and Fort Belvoir by renewing a community covenant that commits to supporting the strength, resilience and readiness of Soldiers and their Families.
“The covenant signing furthers the positive relationship between Springfield, its businesses, citizens, and Fort Belvoir personnel,” Greenberg said. “This bridge is a beautiful gateway into the ever-important central business district. We’re glad you continue to invite us and the Fort Belvoir community to this unique event and we appreciate your continued support to our military community.”
Building bridges can be disruptive for a community, especially something as massive as the I-95 / 395 / 495 interchange in Springfield, which took eight years to complete. Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay worked with Virginia Department of Transportation on ways to add value back to the community of Springfield, and one of the projects was to build the bridge over Keene Mill Road.
“We are taking one for the entire East Coast team by having this mixing bowl in our back yard,” said McKay, “So, let’s not build just a regular bridge, let’s build a bridge with proper signage to honor our veterans, because at the base of the bridge is the American Legion Hall.”
Once the bridge was finished, McKay wanted to remind everybody each year about our military and veterans, and McKay said the event has grown enormously these 19 years.
Sharon Bulova, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors chair, noted the century-long bond between Fort Belvoir and the county.
“The BridgeWalk is a piece of community Americana and an opportunity for us to come together with the people who keep our community and our country safe. And, we thank you for what you do,” said Bulova. “If you know history, the history of Fairfax County is the history of Fort Belvoir. We were born at about the same time, and everybody in Fairfax County has some relationship with people who work or have worked and served at Fort Belvoir.”
McKay noted that Fort Belvoir’s continued, strong participation in BridgeWalk has made it an important event.
“What makes this special is the full commitment of Fort Belvoir leadership to bring a lot of their troops out here. We can do a lot of community celebrations, but it’s not always easy to ensure that we have folks (from the post) come to Springfield and celebrate with us. That’s what makes this such a unique thing in Fairfax County – unlike anything else we do,” said McKay.