By Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal
GLEN – A tearful William “Bill” Ricketts helped unveil a new highway sign Friday that commemorates the sacrifice of his son, Staff Sgt. William “Seth” Ricketts.
A segment of U.S. Highway 72 from one end of the Glen city limits to the other was named the William “Seth” Ricketts Memorial Highway during special ceremonies at City Hall on Friday.A Glen native, Seth Ricketts was killed in Afghanistan on Feb. 27, 2010.
“He was not the only one,” Bill Ricketts said. “Other families are hurting today too, and this sign is for all the Gold Star families.”
Bill Ricketts noted that earlier this week word came of another young soldier from Northeast Mississippi who died in Afghanistan, Sgt. Christopher R. Bell. As a member of the Legion Riders motorcycle group, he said the group renewed its dedication to remembering the nation’s fallen military heroes by taking a flag on Memorial Day to the graves of seven area soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The state Department of Transportation will maintain the special signs as a result of legislation approved this term as Senate Bill 2603. Highway Commissioner Mike Tagert added his words of appreciation to the family.
“This is one small contribution we can make to the legacy and memory of Seth Ricketts,” he said.
To build something as important as the safety and security of this country takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice, not only from Seth himself, but also the family, he said.
The legislation was originally sponsored by House Rep. Lester “Bubba” Carpenter of Burnsville.
“This is a privilege of the office I hold to play a small part in honoring this fallen soldier. The city set things in motion by passing a resolution to designate this portion of the highway through Glen,” Carpenter said.
Seth Ricketts’ grandfather, William Ricketts, spoke of a video in which Seth gave the definition of a soldier.
“A soldier is a regular guy who is willing to do more for his freedom and for other people’s freedom,” William Ricketts quoted Seth as saying.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or firstname.lastname@example.org.