Stephen Kusznier was surprised when he learned the bridge over the Current River on Highway 11-17 would be dedicated in honour of his father.
Const. John S. Kusznier was shot and killed in the line of duty outside of the Landmark Inn on Jan. 15, 1978 and this Saturday the provincial government will officially name the bridge the Constable John S. Kusznier Memorial Bridge.
“It’s been over 30 years since my father has passed and he’s still quite remembered to this day,” said Stephen, the oldest of three brothers. “So a bridge with his name is another honour his grandchildren and other people in the future will be able to see.”
A park on Fitzgerald Street and a crescent in River Terrace are also named after John Kusznier and his second son Mark said the bridge is another way for his father’s legacy to live on.
“Kids grow up and people forget things,” he said. “They’ll forget who were the builders of your community and city. That’s why streets are named after people, why buildings are named after people, bridges dedicated after people because long after our family is gone, the name will still be on the bridge and people will have that memorial.”
“My dad did a lot in the community with work and outside of work as a hockey coach, as a member of the Kinsmen,” he added. “He did a lot to help the community and a memorial like this will perpetuate that for years to come that people will remember that type of sacrifice and work.”
The youngest, Barry, was just seven when his father passed away and said he remembers the dedication his father had to his family and the community.
“He was well known and respected in this town,” Barry said. “His memory will go on and what he did in his job to serve and protect the citizens of Thunder Bay."
He added he’s looking forward to seeing the people come out to honour his father at Saturday’s dedication ceremony.
The ceremony begins Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Terry Fox Lookout on Highway 11-17 and then continues down the highway to the bridge where the signs naming the bridge will be unveiled.