Main Street bridge dedicated to Lebanon veteran

Jacob Smith • Aug 25, 2017 at 2:06 PM

Lebanon officials dedicated a bridge on West Main Street on Friday to Joseph J. Chenault, a former Lebanon resident and World War II veteran.

The bridge is between West End Heights and West Meade Drive, next to O’Reilly Auto Parts.

Chenault was born Jan. 26, 1915 and attended high school in Lebanon. Together with his father, he formed H.L. Chenault and Son General Contractors.

They built many houses and buildings in Lebanon, including the original Lebanon Bank, Cumberland Presbyterian Church and Byars Dowdy Elementary School.

In 1943, Chenault was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as part of the 423rd Infantry regiment of the 106th Division during part of the Battle of the Bulge.

Chenault was captured Dec. 17, 1944 and spent six months as a prisoner of war where he lost one toe to frostbite and had to have another removed in a hospital after his release.

He received a Purple Heart in 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1946.

“It is a privilege for all of us to be here to honor this man,” said Mayor Bernie Ash in his dedication speech. “Not only was he a hero, but a member of the greatest generation. I don’t know where we would be today without that generation.”

After the speech, Chenault’s two daughters were each presented with a copy of the sign that currently stands at the bridge.


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