It was great to see the outpouring of support at the ceremony that was held last month in memory of Army Sgt. Lester “Buddy” Kinney II.
Buddy Kinney was killed in 2004 while fighting for Operation Iraqi Freedom He was the first person from Muskingum County to die while serving in Iraq. The sacrifice that Buddy, and all of our fallen military service members, made for us cannot be repaid. But events like the highway dedication ceremony help to ensure that his memory lives on.
I was honored to have been a part of the dedication and to have voted for the bill that authorized the highway naming. House Bill 325 passed through the General Assembly and was signed into law in December. The bill designated multiple memorial highways for people killed in battle. One amendment assigned the portion of US Route 22 within the corporation of Zanesville to be named after Sgt. Kinney. Buddy is a hero, and this was just a small way of showing our gratitude for his service to our country.
There are times during House session when a legislator stands up to pay tribute to a fallen military hero, which is followed by a moment of silence. It is always a sad moment indeed, and one that we never wish to have happen to anyone. But calling attention to their bravery and sacrifice puts the hardships in our lives in perspective and reminds us of just how lucky we are to live in this country.
So whenever you are driving on Route 22 and pass the sign that says “U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Lester O. ‘Buddy’ Kinney Memorial Highway,” take time to reflect that there are courageous men and women in uniform who are fighting every day to preserve our freedoms.