Legislation that would name the new I-70 bridge over the Mississippi River in St. Louis—which is currently being constructed and will span Missouri and Illinois—the “Stan Musial Memorial Bridge,” gained bipartisan steam today as the Senate delegations from both states announced their support for the effort. The bill now has the bipartisan support of Senators Claire McCaskill, Dick Durbin, Roy Blunt, and Mark Kirk.
“I’m thrilled to have all four of us working together to honor such a great ballplayer, and more than that, a great person,” McCaskill said. “I’m confident that once we’re successful, the ‘Stan-span’ will remind future generations of a role model and hometown hero.”
“Stan Musial was the best ballplayer ever to wear a Cardinals uniform and one of the best ever to play the game of baseball. He was my hero when I was a boy and he remains one of my heroes to this day,” said Durbin. “On the field and off, Stan Musial was always a gentleman, always a champion. He exemplified the values of sportsmanship, discipline, hard work, grace and consistency. I am proud to be working with Senators McCaskill, Kirk and Blunt in support of this bill to name the I-70 bridge, the Stan Musial Memorial Bridge. It is a fitting honor for this American hero and the values he stood for.”
“Stan Musial was a great part of our community, our state, and the game of baseball for a long time,” said Blunt. “Naming this bridge after Stan is a way for us to ensure that his legacy lives on.”
“As both a World War II veteran and baseball great, Stan Musial leaves behind a legacy defined by commitment, kindness and hard work and I am pleased to join this bi-partisan effort to name the new I-70 bridge in his honor,” said Senator Mark Kirk.
The senators will work to advance the bill through the Environment and Public Works Committee so it can be brought to the Senate floor.
In 2010, a bi-state Congressional delegation encouraged President Obama to consider Musial for the Presidential Medal of Freedom—an honor he received on Feb. 15, 2011.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom recognizes those who have made an “especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” The award was first given by President Harry S. Truman in 1945 to honor civilian service, and was revived in 1963 by President John F. Kennedy.