The new bridge on U.S. 35 just south of U.S. 30 will soon be named in honor of Starke County’s most decorated veteran. State Senator Jim Arnold sponsored a resolution to name the structure after PFC Frank Ono, who distinguished himself as a member of the U.S. Army’s Nisei 442nd Regimental Combat Team during World War II. During a July 4, 1944 battle near Castellina, Italy, Ono advanced ahead of his unit and single-handedly defended his position against an enemy counter-attack. He then braved intense hostile fire to aide two wounded comrades and voluntarily covered his unit’s withdrawal when retreat became necessary. Ono was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic actions. During the 1990s, a review of service records for Asian Americans who received the Distinguished Service Cross led to Ono’s award being upgraded to the Medal of Honor. President Bill Clinton presented the award to his surviving family members during a White House ceremony on June 21, 2000. Arnold and Rep. Tom Dermody are both expected to speak at the dedication ceremony on Saturday, May 24 at 1:30 p.m. It will take place north of the bridge. Honor guards from all three Starke County veterans service organizations will take part in the ceremony, as well as members of the Knox Redskin Brigade and several county fire departments. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.
Written by Mary Perren
WKVI News Director Mary Perren is glad to be back home in northern Indiana and on the radio. She’s a North Judson native with more than 20 years of news experience. She’s worked in print and radio news in Indianapolis, Hopkinsville, Ky., Nashville, Tenn. and most recently in Winamac before taking over as news director for Kankakee Valley Broadcasting in February of 2013. Her work has been honored by the Associated Press, StateNets News Association, Curb Foundation, Hoosier State Press Association and IBA. When she’s not sitting in the anchor chair or chasing down news, Mary enjoys shopping for antiques, attending concerts and taking long walks and rides in her vintage Saab convertible, weather permitting. She’s also a hopelessly devoted Chicago Cubs fanatic who still cringes at the mention of Steve Garvey and Josh Beckett and maintains it wasn’t Steve Bartman’s fault.