The memory of Fort Gordon’s first black commander was honored Tuesday during a ceremony naming the Walton Way bridge between Fifth and Seventh streets the Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Memorial Bridge.
“It feels wonderful,” said his widow, Annie. “I know he would be proud of this.”
Gray, who retired from the Army in 1997, died Nov. 23 in a traffic accident on the Georgia Highway 21 bypass outside of Millen, about an hour south of Augusta.
Mayor Deke Copenhaver said naming a bridge for Gray was fitting because he “built bridges and blazed trails” where others built walls.
Gray commanded Fort Gordon from May to June 1990 and August 1991 to July 1994. In 1997, he retired from the Army after more than 31 years.
He oversaw Fort Gordon’s expansion after the Persian Gulf War and initiated technological changes.
During the dedication, Col. Robert Barker, garrison commander at Fort Gordon, said Gray was a mentor to all who knew him.
“When I pass this sign I will salute and remember,” said Lowell Greenbaum, the chairman of the Richmond County Democratic Party.