Sep 30 2020
Maria Sellers | WVVA
BECKLEY W. VA. (WVVA) - A major area of traffic is being dedicated to Gold Star families who lost loved ones in the service.
Teresa Brown, a gold star mother who lost her son while he was serving in Iraq said she is honored the state is dedicating this portion of the highway to those families.
"It means to us that they're not forgetting our sons and daughters, husbands and wives and everyone who has died in service no matter which war," said Brown.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice said this dedication of the turnpike to Gold Star families is a showing of appreciation.
"We owe them everything, we really truly do and we take them for granted too much and really we should do anything and everything we can to express our gratitude just as often as we can," said Justice.
For the governor, this dedication is important because it hits close to home.
"My dad was an airforce captain, [and] Cathy's dad served in World War II as well, [so] I truly get it," said Justice. "These people who have given so much but want so little all the time and it's very touching to me."
This new designation means the highway is paved with the heroism of those such as Brown's son, who lost their lives fighting for freedom.
"He's such a hero," said Brown. "No I did not want to lose him, no one ever wants to lose a son or daughter, husband or wife or anyone but it's not our choice; and, he was very good at his job and he was a hero, they're all heroes no matter who they were."
This dedicated portion of the turnpike runs about 59 miles. It begins around the Chuck Yeager Bridge in Charleston and extends to the split between I-77 and I-64 in Beckley.