Members of the Rutherford County Legislative Delegation -- including State Representative Mike Sparks (R-Smyrna), State Representative Dawn White (R-Murfreesboro), and State Senator Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro) -- announced that they will memorialize fallen Blue Angels Captain Jeff Kuss with a proclamation and bridge dedication on Saturday, November 11, 2017.
The dedication is part of the Town of Smyrna's annual Veterans Day Ceremony. It will be held at the Smyrna Town Hall, located at 315 South Lowry Street, beginning at 11:00 A.M. The Captain Jeff Kuss Memorial Bridge will span Stewart Creek on State Route 266 in Smyrna.
A Blue Angels pilot and Marine Corps officer from Colorado, Kuss died when the aircraft he was piloting crashed shortly after takeoff during a practice for the Great Tennessee Air Show in June of 2016. The incident occurred near the runway at the Smyrna Airport. Miraculously, there were no additional injuries or deaths caused by the tragedy.
"After I learned that we had lost one of our brave heroes, I reached out to the captain's family to offer my support and condolences," said Representative Sparks. "I asked for permission to name the bridge in his honor, and they agreed. I am hopeful that this memorial will serve as a reminder to future generations of our residents about the exceptional bravery that Captain Kuss displayed as a member of the Blue Angels."
"Captain Kuss is one of our great American heroes, and he is extremely worthy and deserving of this honor," said Representative White. "This ceremony is an opportunity for us to remember his sacrifice, to continue our support for his family, and to honor the brave men and women who, like Captain Kuss, have served our nation with such valor and distinction."
"It is only fitting that on Veterans Day, we honor a heroic individual who made the unselfish decision to serve our nation," said Senator Ketron. "Captain Kuss died doing what he loved. He is truly deserving of this memorial, and I am hopeful that others in our community will learn more about his remarkable story of service to our nation."
Those who attend the ceremony will have an opportunity to sign a replica of the highway memorial sign which will be presented to the family of Captain Kuss at a later date.