TULSA - A Tulsa Marine is now immortalized in his hometown.
A bridge on Highway 169 was dedicated today to Jared Shoemaker, a man who served his country in as a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps and his city as a Tulsa police officer.
"That's as much as a man could possibly do for his country, his town and that's why I looked up to him," said Cpl. Cody Hill, a fellow soldier and friend who was the sole survivor in the IED blast that killed Shoemaker.
On Sept. 4, 2006, Shoemaker and three other soldiers were performing a routine combat patrol in Fallujah, Iraq.
"Their vehicle commander that day was Cpl. Shoemaker. Their vehicle, as it patrolled, struck an IED and it killed all but Lance Corporal Cody Hill," said State Sen. Susan Paddack (D-Ada).
Hill is the man behind the dedication.
"If you go over all of the bridges in Oklahoma you see them dedicated to somebody and I thought why not Jared Shoemaker," Hill said.
With the help of state lawmakers and more than a year of waiting, the Highway 169 bridge over 81st Street now bears a hero's name.
Fellow police officers, Marines, family and friends filled the room in honor of Shoemaker's memory and service.
"He loved being a police officer, he loved being a Marine and you know, the patriotism that he showed I can't compare to anybody," said fellow police officer Adam Ashley. "He's the best that I've found so far."
The bridge was selected because of its location.
"We drive by it on 169 almost everyday, we drive 169 to go out to Jared's grave, so it really means a lot it's so close," said Linda Shoemaker, Jared's mother.
Now everyone who drives by and sees this sign will be reminded of the man who sacrificed for his country.
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