As members of the Walker High School JROTC stood at attention, a sign marking Spc. Richard Gilmore III Avenue was uncovered by family members of the veteran. Gilmore died on July 18, 2007, from injuries sustained from a roadside bomb in Adhamiyah, Iraq. He was 22 when he passed away.
The street sign renames a portion of Euclid Avenue near the Lueada Smith Community Center on Crutchfield Boulevard.
His father, Richard Gilmore II, said the family was humbled by the honor.
“Many men live long lives and never have that,” Gilmore told the crowd.
Before the unveiling, community members met in the center to pray and honor the veterans from the community.
“I want to thank God for all the men and women in uniform,” Gilmore said to the crowd. “I know many of them are in harms way even now, and someone will get a knock on the door as we have.”
In addition to the prayers and a rendition of “God Bless America” sang by Ernestine Bell, several members of the Walker High JROTC told the assembly how Spc. Gilmore inspired them.
“I think we can thank God every single day that there are men like Richard Gilmore, who are willing to give that last full measure of devotion for the better of everyone else,” said Cadet 1st Sgt. Jesse Wells. “I hope there will be more men like him in the future. He will forever serve as a standard for all of us to achieve.”
Wells also thanked the Gilmore family for their immense sacrifice for the country.
“I hope that you all can have some sort of solemn pride — which you surely have earned — for laying such a costly price on the alter of freedom,” he said.
Patty Gilmore, the mother of Spc. Gilmore, said the ceremony is typical of the outpouring community members have shown the family every year.
“It just made our hearts feel good to still see the support and to see that people still care not only about our son but about all those who are serving,” she said.
Sandi Sudduth, a Jasper City Council member and an organizer of the ceremony, announced during the gathering that the Gilmore family plans to establish a memorial scholarship to honor the fallen soldier.
“I think it’s important for us to realize we have heroes and heroines right here in our community: People making sacrifices for the betterment of their city, state and country,” she said.