It’s was an emotional day for the Stonewall community, as they honored the life of former marine Dustin Lee.
“He was a joy to be around. Anytime you saw him, there was a smile on his face. He lit up a room wherever he went. He never met a stranger,” said Anthony Chancelor, who was one of Lee’s best friends.
Thursday family, friends, members of the community, and elected officials came together to remember Lee by renaming a portion of Highway 513 the “Marine Corporal Dustin Lee Memorial Highway.
“There was an existing bill, HB 1088, that renamed another highway in another part of the state.
By floor amendment, Representative Shirley and myself were able to add this Highway 513 to that bill. It went through the process on the senate side. Senator Carmichael and his delegation helped us there. We succeeded. Got it passed by the legislature and the governor signed it into law,” said state Rep. Greg Snowden.
Lee, who grew up in Stonewall, was killed in March 2007 during a motor attack in Iraq. He was only 20 years old. During today’s dedication ceremony, family and friends recalled their fondest memories.
“He was funny. He was outgoing. The girls loved him. They still talk about him. I guess they always will,” said Jerry Rich, Lee’s grandfather, who’s also the mayor of Stonewall.
Even though tears were shed over Lee’s absence, Chancelor said the renamed highway will help his memory live on.
“I have a lot of good memories with him. I travel that highway a lot. There will be something that comes to mind every single time I pass it.”
The new highway sign was unveiled during the dedication ceremony. Drivers will be able to see it as they enter and exit Stonewall.