TORONTO - Family, friends, city officials and local media gathered near the Franklin Street Extension exit off state Route 7 Friday as a portion of the highway was named in honor of the late Marine Sgt. Nathan Rock.
Rock, the son of Tim and Adriana Rock of Toronto, was killed in action on Aug. 1, 2005, after being ambushed. He was a 1997 graduate of Toronto High School. Rock received a solemn welcome and hasn't been forgotten by the local community, according to state Rep. Jack Cera, D-Bellaire.
"Last spring, my office was contacted by Ron Rock, the uncle of Sgt. Nathaniel Shae Rock," said Cera. "At that time, Mr. Rock requested my help in getting a portion of state Route 7 in his nephew's hometown of Toronto named after his nephew, who died while serving his country."
HONORED — The family of the late Marine Sgt. Nathan Rock watched as the sign naming a mile of state Route 7 near Toronto’s Franklin Street Extension exit for Rock was dedicated during a ceremony Friday. Rock, the son of Adriana and Tim Rock of Toronto, was killed in action on Aug. 1, 2005, in Iraq. - Mark Miller
Cera said he originally introduced House Bill 185 to name the section of highway between mile markers 22 and 24 in honor of Rock. He added the bill later became part of House Bill 19, a larger bill containing requests for several highways and roads in the state to be named after servicemen and women who had been killed in the line of duty.
Cera also said he once met Nathan Rock when Rock was a police officer.
"Today, we name this section of state Route 7 after a war hero," Cera continued, adding that portion of highway is now known as USMC Sgt. Nathaniel Shae Rock Memorial Highway. "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."
Tim Rock thanked his brother, those gathered and all who made the dedication possible.