The state senate approves naming four segments of state highways for soldiers, first responders, and law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. But one senator has raised questions about the continuing practice.
The bill names two-mile stretches of Highways 84 in the bootheel, 169 in Buchanan County, 87 in Moniteau County, and 13 in southwest Missouri’s Polk County for Missourians who died in the service of others in the Middle East, or on those highways.
The legislature has been taking such actions for several years. Senator Matt Bartle of Lee’s Summit voted for the bill although he thinks the bill trivializes the sacrifices. "An honor is an honor when it’s rare and scare," he has told the Senate. He maintains the honor is diminished by repeatedly naming part of roads for those who have fallen in service to the state and nation. He also worries the state will run out of roads to honor people.
Sponsor Rob Mayer of Dexter says that’s unlikely with a 32-thousand mile road system. "It’s a small thing that we do. I wish we could do more," he responds.
He says a lot of other things can be named as memorials–armories, government and other buildings, or bridges for. But Mayer says he does not think the honor is lessened by naming a road for those who have given their lives in service to others.
The bill has been sent to the House.