Dying vet is first across new St. Croix bridge

Here’s your daily dose of sweetness, courtesy of — no surprise here — Mary Divine at the Pioneer Press:

Jack Bohmert, 82, of Oak Park Heights, entered hospice two weeks ago and created a bucket list of things he wanted to accomplish before he goes.

At the top of the list was a ride across the new St. Croix River bridge, which doesn’t open until next month.

The world is a better place because of granddaughters like Bohmert’s who contacted Stillwater and state officials.

So yesterday Jack got a ride across the bridge, becoming the first member of the general public to cross the bridge.

“I don’t need so much attention,” Bohmert said. “I can’t believe this. There are all these important people here. I didn’t know who they were. Everybody is being so nice to me. It’s too much. I was just trying to go across the bridge, like everybody else.”

A huge American flag, courtesy of Stillwater Towing, was erected in the parking lot of Phil’s Tara Hideaway in honor of Bohmert. Friends and family also lined the Beach Road overpass to wave to him as he returned from the crossing.

“He’s just so happy that he got to cross this off his bucket list, and I’m happy, too,” said his daughter Lonnie Bohnen of Willernie. “It’s such a special celebration of life — while he’s still here. People don’t get to experience that very often.”

Next up on the bucket list: “Live until my 83rd birthday.” That’s in 10 days.

(Video link)

Related: Veteran finally receives his medals, years after death (MPR News)