While fallen U.S. Marine Erik Silva, who perished after being ambushed during the Iraq War, now has a local highway bridge named after him, it is still not known when the signs designating that will go up.
effort was led by Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella) and in accordance
with the Senate the Assembly passed Concurrent Resolution No. 37. It was signed
by Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 23.
measure designates the Alamo River Bridge on the Evan Hewes Highway (State
Route 115) near the western entry to the city of Holtville as the “Marine
Corporal Erik H. Silva Memorial Bridge.” A ceremony was planned by Kim Vincent,
former American Legion Auxiliary Unit 138 president, who was told by Garcia
last spring the dedication should be ready by Veterans Day.
that’s not happening now,” said Vincent from her new house in Oklahoma.
“It’d be nice to come home for that. I’m waiting to learn if the Assembly
is purchasing signs for the bridge or we (private supporters of ACR No. 37)
have to purchase them from some bureaucratic entity.”
Honoring A Young Man
22 at the time of death, was an infantry rifleman when ambushed in combat on
April 3, 2003, while assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. He was six
months shy of being honorably discharged and had planned a career with the
California Highway Patrol.
youngest of four, Silva was the third sibling to serve in the military after
his brother Isaac served in the Air Force and his sister Gloria served in the
Navy. Known as a quiet and friendly young man, Silva played trumpet in the Holtville
High School Viking Band of Pride. He also played on the school golf and soccer
teams and was a drum major the last two years of high school.
to the text of ACR 37, the Department of Transportation is to determine the
cost of installing the appropriate signs with this special designation. Then,
upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, the signs
will be secured in place.
reminded Holtville residents that American Legion Post 138 was re-chartered in
1941 as the Bradley Keffer post. It honors two local servicemen: the first,
Roland Bradley was killed in World War I and the second, Howard Keffer, was a
radio operator on the USS Oklahoma when the ship was attacked by the Japanese
at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He was also killed.
was listed as missing in action until July 2019 when his remains were
identified. He was buried at the Punch Bowl Cemetery, also known as the
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu.
haven’t talked to the Keffer family lately, but it would be nice to have his
remains interred in Holtville,” said Vincent. “But his family donated
his memorial flag to Post 138 since it’s named for him. It would be nice to
have the bridge dedication for Erik on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (Dec. 7).
But we can’t confirm anything until we hear more from the state Assembly.”