I-66 bridge dedicated in honor of fallen trooper

The Warren Sentinel

FRONT ROYAL — State Trooper Harry Lee Henderson wore other hats besides the one that went with his police uniform. He was a Scout leader and a father who left an indelible mark throughout Warren County.

Henderson was killed on Interstate 66 during a traffic stop in 1987 when he was struck by a tractor-trailer that strayed off the road. Now, when motorists drive through Warren County on the interstate, they will pass over Morgan Ford Road on the Harry Lee Henderson Memorial Bridge.

Friends, family members, Boy Scouts, county officials and police officers packed the ceremony hall Tuesday morning at the Front Royal Golf Club to honor Hendersonís legacy and unveil the sign that will preserve his memory.

Henderson joined the Virginia State Police in 1973 and was sent to Warren County.

"My father loved this community. He moved up here when he took the assignment and he became a part of this community," said his son, Michael Henderson.

Henderson became a Boy Scout leader. Over 14 years, he led 46 boys in Troop 52 to the rank of Eagle. One of those Eagles, Tony Fletcher, is now a Scout leader in Richmond. Fletcher said Henderson instilled within him a sense of leadership.

Interest in the memorial stretched far beyond Warren County, state Sen. Mark Obenshain said. Earlier in the morning, while at a school in Broadway, Obenshain met a former Warren County Treasurer's Office employee who recalled Henderson bringing Boy Scouts in for tours of the government center.

Obenshain told Henderson's children that "there are troopers and people all over Virginia you may not know, and you probably will never know the impact that your dad had on their lives."

As the nation struggles with increasing adversity to authority, Warren County Supervisors Chairwoman Linda Glavis said it was appropriate honor Hendersonís legacy. The mother of a law enforcement officer, Glavis said she knows the dangers police face every day to keep communities safe.

Glavis told Hendersonís family that Warren County citizens owe them a debt of gratitude for the example he set.

Henderson's daughter, Mary, said her father was very humble and the best way to honor his memory would be to carry out small, kind acts.

"That would be the best legacy, for you to continue the small things he did in peopleís lives," Mary Henderson said.

Henderson's death was not only a great loss to the Virginia State Police, but also to the Warren County community at large, Virginia State Police Col. Steven Flaherty said.

"All you need to do is just look around the room if you want to know what impact Harry Lee Henderson had on this community … it's all a testament to a man who's known for his excellence in public service," Flaherty said.

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