Lee County leaders could rename road after fallen veteran - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee County leaders could rename road after fallen veteran

Greg Frich, Lee County Commissioner Greg Frich, Lee County Commissioner

Lee County could name part of a highway in honor of a fallen Marine. Lance Corporal Steve Sutton was killed last May in Afghanistan. Leaders hope to memorialize by naming part of Highway 19 or another road in the area after the fallen hero.

Lance Corporal Steve Sutton died while on tour in Afghanistan in May of 2012, and after widespread support of the warrior's service to his country, some discussions are underway on creating a permanent memorial.

A stretch of US 19 that runs through downtown Leesburg could be dedicated in honor of Lance Corporal Steve Sutton. "We've had a lot of heroes, I think that none have epitomized the ideas of nobility, virtue, sacrifice, honor better than Steve has, and we want to make sure that we keep that alive," said Greg Frich, Lee County Commissioner.

Sutton was killed in Combat on May 26th 2012. Frich says he's been working closely with Sutton's father for the dedication, but says they haven't decided on a specific road yet. "You know, 19 is certainly one, and the reason why 19 is so important is because when we had the memorial for Steve and when Steve was laid to rest, that funeral procession traveled from 1st Baptist in Leesburg down to Crown Hill Cemetery," said Frich.

He says he'd like to see the dedication honor other service members in the armed forces in addition to Sutton.

"I do think that having a hero's highway where we have it in honor of Steve Sutton is a very, very good...is a very high candidate for a method that we could do that," said Frich.

Sutton's father says the Marine was a humble man who wouldn't have wanted all the attention. He says everyone loved the 6' 8" football player known as "Big Steve." But he says discussions of a memorial help ease the loss of his son.

"It brings a little bit of pain back to remember Steven and how good of a person he was. And all the things that I look back on his life and there were times something happened in his life. It makes me sad, but makes me very honored that people would want to do all this," said Steven's father Gene.

He says the dedication would help future generations traveling down this road learn what a tremendous young man his son was, and help his spirit live on.

Sutton's father says the community support has been tremendous, and thanks everyone who's helped the discussions come so far. He says the dedication would also help ease the pain of his son's friends who were serving with him when he was killed.

Leesburg and Lee County leaders plan to get input on what roads to consider for the name change. If they choose a state route they'll have to ask the General Assembly for the designation.


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