By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – The replaced bridge on Washington Street that crosses over the Assabet River in downtown Hudson will be named in memory of a hometown fallen Army veteran of the Vietnam War. A ceremony scheduled for Saturday, June 16, at 9 a.m., will dedicate it as the Private First Class Kenneth M. Thibault Memorial Bridge.
Thibault was a Hudson High School 1966 graduate. He served with the 1st Cavalry Division, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, B Troop. On April 2, 1967, three days before Thibault’s 21st birthday, he was killed in action by gunshot wounds in Binh Dinh, South Vietnam. Thibault is buried at the St. Michael Parish Cemetery in Hudson.
The dedication ceremony was rescheduled from its initial date on Memorial Day to allow time for MassDOT to complete hot topping, line striping and roadway resurfacing, noted Veterans’ Agent Brian Stearns.
“We wanted the project to be complete for the ceremony and didn’t want anyone getting hurt, tripping over the raised structures,” he explained. “It appears the work will not be finished until early June, so we moved the ceremony forward a few weeks.”
Stearns requested the name for the replaced bridge at a selectmen’s meeting last July, noting that Thibault is one of two Hudson residents killed in Vietnam. The other is David Palmieri, who was honored with Palmieri Drive on which VFW Post 1027 is located. Already named in memory of Thibault is AMVETS Post 208 on South Street, located around the corner from the bridge on Washington Street.
State Rep. Kate Hogan (D-Stow) petitioned the legislature for the bridge naming because it’s built on state-owned Route 85 property. It was ultimately approved by Gov. Charlie Baker.
Hogan is among the scheduled ceremony speakers along with Selectmen Chair John Parent, Veterans’ Agent Stearns and Lt. Col. David S. Diaz, former commander of the 1st Battalion, 9th Cavalry in Fort Worth, Texas.