Santa Rosa County Commissioner James Calkins is calling for a bridge to be named after former President Donald Trump.
In the ongoing debate about renaming the aging Navarre Beach bridge and causeway, Santa Rosa County Commissioner James Calkins said Tuesday that supporters of former President Donald J. Trump would be “offended” if the bridge was named after local military heroes instead of the ex-commander in chief.
At a public forum at Tuesday’s County Commission workshop, in which items are discussed to be put on future agendas but no votes are taken, Santa Rosa County resident Tony Hughes presented to the board the idea to make a memorial dedication of the causeway to Master Sgt. John Chapman and rename the bridge the Air Commando Bridge.
Chapman, a combat controller in the U.S. Air Force who died in battle in Afghanistan in March 2002 at age 36, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by Trump at a White House ceremony in 2018. Chapman was killed by enemy fire while saving his entire rescue team during a fierce battle, according to his Medal of Honor citation. He was the first airman to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.
Calkins said he and other citizens were inspired to name the bridge, which hasn’t had a name since it was built in 1960, after the Trump boat parade went underneath the bridge in June 2020.
“Apparently a bunch of citizens from our area got together and looked at that bridge and said, we want to name the bridge after President Trump,” Calkins said. “And they pushed it and pushed it, and I hadn’t heard one word about it for years about renaming the bridge, not one word from anybody.”
Calkins said the effort to rename the bridge after local military heroes was an affront to the former president and his supporters locally.
“I like your idea, the problem is, it will offend Trump supporters,” Calkins said. “It will clearly offend the mass majority of Trump supporters because they will see it for what it is, a way to stop it from being named after President Trump.”
This is an interesting story.
I would have no issue with the bridge being named “Air Commando bridge” either.
However, I will say this.
If they are only trying to name the bridge “Air Commando bridge” to stop it from being named after Trump then this should be Trump’s bridge.
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