EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – Route 7 has will soon have signage that dedicates the highway to two local veterans.
The issue came up following the passage of Substitute Senate Bill 182, which included House Bill 364, which designated multiple memorial highways across the state.
According to the Morning Journal, twelve years ago the stretch of highway between the east end of Wellsville and the west end of East Liverpool was named the Corporal William F. Bratt Memorial Highway, in honor of the World War II U.S. Army veteran.
Corporal Bratt was a prisoner of war following the surrender of the Bataan Peninsula. He later survived the Bataan Death March and was one of five soldiers from the 1,765 troops in the his original unit that returned to the United States following the war.
In 2004, that same local stretch of Route 7 was dedicated in honor of another Wellsville veteran, Melvin E. Newlin. A Private First Class who served in the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division during the Vietnam War, Newlin was killed in combat in 1967 and was a posthumous recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor through President Richard Nixon.
Following the passage of Substitute Senate Bill 182 on Feb. 24, some area residents expressed concerns that Newlin’s name would be removed. State Rep. Tim Ginter, (R-Salem), said he received several calls concerning the matter, said Newlin’s signage and name will not be removed from the highway.
Some groups who contacted Ginter’s office disapprove of the highway having multiple dedications, but Ginter explained that both men will be honorably recognized with two signs posted at the highway. He also said the state is running out of highway space to dedicate portions of a roadway to one specific person.