JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ)– State Rep. Jim Rigby (R-Johnstown) held a bridge dedication for a veteran who lost their life during active duty in 2007.

The dedication took place on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the SFC Raymond R. Buchan Memorial Bridge on Washington Street in Johnstown. Buchan is a Johnstown native who served in the United States Army for 16 years and died during active duty in Ta’meem, west of Baghdad, Iraq.

“Today’s event was absolutely beautiful, it was phenomenal, I drove four hours last night at midnight to get here, it was just worth every second of that drive,” said Buchan’s son Hayden Buchan.

In 2019, Rigby wrote the legislation for House Bill 1595, which designated the part of Washington Street that crosses the Stonycreek River by Sargent’s Stadium at the Point in honor of SFC Buchan.

“While the signage on the bridge has been in place for quite a while, family issues and the COVID-19 pandemic prevented us from being able to hold a dedication ceremony,” Rigby said. “We finally have an opportunity to gather family and friends in one place and officially recognize SFC Buchan.”

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United States Army veteran Eric Hawes was the guest speaker for Saturday’s event.

“Ray was a consummate professional, a true hero,” said Hawes. “I hope that this bridge dedication, every time someone drives by it and sees his name, it helps to keep his legacy to live on longer and longer.”