Woodrow Wilson gets his due. So do Theodore Roosevelt and Duke Ellington. So why can't we call the "Cabin John Bridge" by its correct name -- The American Legion Memorial Bridge?
Alvin E. Krauss of Silver Spring has been asking that question for 15 years -- almost as long as it's been since the Beltway's northern crossing of the Potomac River was officially named for the American Legion. There's even a plaque right there to prove it. So Alvin thinks -- and I concur -- that we ought to have kicked the Cabin John habit by next Memorial Day, and sooner, if we can.
Why hasn't the correct name of the bridge taken hold? According to a few veterans at the Maryland State Highway Administration, the bridge had already been open for eight years when "Legion" was adopted. By then, the Cabin John name was deeply entrenched.
A few radio traffic reporters I know add that "American Legion Memorial Bridge" contains 11 syllables, while "Cabin John Bridge" possesses only four. One guess where the flyboys' affections lie.
Still, we utter "Memorial Bridge" without stumbling, so how much more of a mouthful is A.L.M.B.? Let's do for the Legion what the governors of Virginia and Maryland did on May 30, 1969.