The Bridge to Victory

By Beth C. Moroney

About the Author

As an instructor of Creative Writing and Journalism for many years, Beth C. Moroney has had ample experience in inspiring young authors to find their own voices and become professional writers. As a journalist, Beth has specialized in writing about sports, serving as the publisher and editor of the New Jersey Interscholastic Coaches Association newspaper, The Scorekeeper. She also writes a book review column for the tapinto franchise, an online newspaper that is syndicated throughout New York and New Jersey for over a decade.

Beth C. Moroney


The Bridge to Victory

The Bridge to Victory is the biography of Jay H. Dakelman, a combat medic with the 86th Pontoon Division of the First Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. Part I of the book details the travels and harrowing experiences of the 86th as they built the pontoon bridges that were vital to the transport of soldiers, machines, supplies, and combat vehicles. Without their expertise, the American Army could not have been successful. Jay received medals for participating in five major battles on the European front. Part II of the biography picks up in 1946 when Jay returned home from the war, married, and became a Physical Education teacher at Highland Park High School where he worked for 47 years. A renowned football and track and field coach, Jay amassed more championships than most other coaches in New Jersey. He became the Director of Athletics in the 1960s and his inspirational vision for what athletics should be for both men and women became legendary. . As early as the 1940s Jay was advocating for women to participate in sports, and he brought girl competitors to boys track meets and asked that they be allowed to run in exhibition. He also pushed for youngsters of color to attend college to further their education and improve their social and economic status as American citizens. Many of the ideas that Jay introduced on both the state and national athletic scene led to his being named as the National Athletic Director of the Year in 1982. To date, he is the only Athletic Director in New Jersey to have received this prestigious award. Although he has been gone for over 30 years, Jay’s legacy continues to shine as an inspiration to the coaches and athletes in New Jersey. This is the story of a young man who took the harsh lessons of war and converted those experiences into becoming an inspirational leader of men and women athletes.

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