CALICO ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - People from both sides of the White River were in Calico Rock Friday for the dedication of the Sgt. Mike Stephen Memorial Bridge.
Sgt. Stephen worked for the Stone County Sheriff’s Department but lived on the other side of the White River in Izard County.
He was also the Fire Chief at the Pineville Fire Department.
State Senator Missy Irvin said the bridge was the perfect representation of how he connected the two communities.
“He always was bridging that gap and connecting people and showing them love and so this bridge that joins Stone County and Izard County together over the White River is just the perfect symbol of Mike’s life and his service to both these counties, our state, and our country,” said Irvin.
Sgt. Stephen lost his life in the line of duty on July 18, 2019.
His wife, Susan Stephen, said Sgt. Stephen spent a lot of time crossing the White River bridge to go to work and back.
“Mike is Mike, he loved everybody, everybody seemed to love him and every day, he’d go to work across this bridge,” said Stephen.
The dedication Friday started with the Stone County Honor Guard presenting the colors, and several people spoke about Sgt. Stephen’s impact on their communities.
“This bridge is a symbol of two counties that are always joined because of the people that live in them,” said Irvin.
Both Stone and Izard Counties have worked over the past few months to make the bridge dedication possible.
“It just means a whole lot. I don’t want him to be forgotten,” said Stephen.
State Senator Irvin said this dedication ensures Sgt. Stephen’s memory will live on forever.
“When people drive across that bridge and see that sign, Sgt. Mike Stephen Memorial Bridge, that they’ll go who was this guy and they’ll be able to go online and look at who he was and what he stood for, what he all did for us,” said Irvin.
The signs were also unveiled in time for a memorial Christmas parade taking place Saturday night in Calico Rock.