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Section of Ohio 7 in Toronto renamed after fallen soldier

Updated: Friday, June 6 2014, 06:27 PM EDT
TORONTO, Ohio -- Nearly 10 years after U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Nathaniel Rock was killed in an ambush in Iraq, those closest came together to honor his memory, as a portion of Ohio 7 in Jefferson County was named after him Friday.
A 2-mile stretch of the road is now known as the "Nathaniel Shae Rock Memorial Highway," honoring a soldier who paid the ultimate price.
“The sign, it's beautiful,” Nathiel’s brother-in-law Mitch LeMasters said. “And it definitely just provides a little more honor, showing that we'll never forget any soldier or any service member that provides their time.”
Family and friends gathered to pay tribute and Rock, who graduated from Toronto High School in 1997. Rock enlisted in the Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in 2003. He re-enlisted with the Marine Reserve Base and took another tour of duty in Iraq in 2005.
“It means a lot to everyone that knew Nate,” LeMasters said. “He was a well-loved individual. It's nice to see the state take honor and it's nice to see the community come together and provide this gift to show respect to a fallen soldier and a great man.”
Countless cars travel Ohio 7 on a daily basis. This is one of several stretches of roadway renamed as a part of House Bill 19 to pay tribute to fallen service men and women.
“It's a fitting tribute that we can pay to the memory of a soldier like Sgt. Rock, and it's good that his family knows that people are going to remember that he fought and died for his country,” LeMasters said.
That tribute, however large or small, is one that can touch the hearts of many.
“I think anything done this day and age, whether it's a handshake or a salute to a veteran or anything that you would think is minute means magnitudes for anybody,” LeMasters said.
The stretch of roadway runs from mile markers 22-24, just south of the Toronto exit on Ohio 7.

Section of Ohio 7 in Toronto renamed after fallen soldier

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