Group rallies to rename highway in honor of fallen marine
It's been 8 months since Lance Corporal Steve Sutton was killed in the line of duty but his hometown of Leesburg is still rallying to have his name immortalized by asking for state officials to dedicate U.S. 19 his name.
"When you drive through highway 82, you see it's Jeff Davis Memorial Highway and I saw that one day and I said, 'we should really do something on Highway 19 because that's the highway that his funeral procession went up," said Jim Freundschuh, the creator of a Facebook page showing support for the name change.
Four days after the group's creation it has nearly 1,500 followers and has attracted the attention of some big names including fellow Leesburg native, Phillip Phillips. Sutton's father, Gene, says while he knew his son would be honored, the support is overwhelming.
"I would not have believed all of this attention could happen, really. I know there was going to be memories but not just getting on board, like this. It takes the pain away some."
However, there are a few bumps on the road to the group's ultimate goal of getting a state highway renamed. Officials say it's possible, but it has to be done outside of the county.
"The best thing is to get your local state senator or state representative to assist you by sponsoring a resolution in the general assembly to do it," said Research and State Legislative Liaison, Ellis Woodall.
Gene has already approached representative Ed Rynders about the dedication who says there's a process that needs to be followed which includes getting input from both local and state officials, which he'll be seeking as they move forward.
Freundschuh says he'll do what it takes to get Sutton's name remembered by those born generations from now.