West Virginia Transportation Secretary Jimmy Wriston, P.E., recently rededicated the Darwin K. Kyle Memorial Bridge in Madison to former Racine resident and Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Darwin K. Kyle.
The bridge, which carries WV 17 over the Little Coal River in the Boone County town of Madison, was replaced with funding from Gov. Jim Justice’s $2.8 billion Roads to Prosperity program. Justice awarded a $4.7 million contract to Triton Construction in August 2021 for complete replacement of the span.
|“We are first in the nation, per capita, for military service,” said Wriston. “He gave his life to protect what we have today.”|
|The original Darwin K. Kyle Memorial Bridge was built in 1985. Due to weight restrictions it was decided to replace the span. Roads to Prosperity allowed the West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) to replace scores of bridges around the state that might otherwise take years to address.|
|“I am proud of anything that takes place in Boone County,” said former Boone County House of Delegates member Delores Cook. “Today, we are rededicating this bridge to a wonderful, wonderful man. May he rest in peace.”|
Kyle was born in Kentucky but grew up in Boone County. He was awarded the Silver Star and Bronze Star during World War II, but was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his efforts to save his men near Kamil-ni, Korea, in February 1951.
According to his Medal of Honor citation, Kyle and his men were pinned down by heavy enemy fire when he personally led a charge against the enemy, knocking out one machine gun emplacement single-handed before being killed leading an attack against a second position.
Kyle’s widow was officially presented with his Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 16, 1952. He is buried in South Charleston.
The rededication of the Darwin K. Kyle Memorial Bridge was marked by a 21-gun salute and a ceremonial rendition of “Taps.”