A fitting tribute to Nathan Rock

It’s only fitting that a portion of state Route 7 near Toronto’s Franklin Street Extension exit be dedicated to one of Gem City’s own.

Thanks to the efforts of family and friends, and state and city officials, the one-mile section there now is known as the U.S.M.C. Sgt. Nathaniel Shae Rock Memorial Highway.

Rock, the son of Tim and Adriana Rock of Toronto, was killed in action on Aug. 1, 2005, after being ambushed.

A 1997 graduate of Toronto High School, Rock received a solemn welcome by his community and so many others along the Ohio River nearly nine years ago.

The brave Marine hasn’t been forgotten by his family and friends and by the local community, and, thanks to the efforts of state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire, all passers-by on Route 7 will know Nathaniel Shae Rock’s name.

That’s as it should be, as Rock and so many others who fought bravely for our country and give their lives, should be perpetually honored.

Cera was made aware of the possibility of the highway naming project through Nate Rock’s uncle, Ron Rock, who got the ball rolling. After that, Cera made sure the project was introduced through an Ohio House bill containing requests for several highways and roads in the Buckeye State to be named after servicemen and women who had been killed in the line of duty. Thankfully, that bill came to fruition.

Cera said he once met Nate Rock when Rock was a police officer.

“Today, we name this section of state Route 7 after a war hero,” Cera said during a recent ceremony along Route 7 near Sgt. Rock’s sign. “A young man dedicated his life to his community and his country. When the community drives this stretch of road, residents will be reminded that one of their own gave his life for his country. As strangers travel this highway, they will see that Toronto, Ohio, was the home of a war hero.”

It could not have been said any better.