VERNON (WJRT) -
(05/19/14) - Graham Barlow, Jr. Memorial Highway - a sign, now standing for about a week, is dedicated to the World War II veteran whose name it bares.
It wasn't easy, but Jim Springs saw this project to the end.
"It's really gratifying after three years of doing this," he said.
Three years and $2,000 later, a portion of M-71, in the village of Vernon, will honor the only WWII veteran from the village to be killed in action.
Springs wanted to bring the history full circle - inviting the Nellie Reed Elementary school for a little history lesson, Monday. It's the same school Springs himself attended for nine years.
State Representative Ben Glardon wrote the bill to designate this portion of the highway.
"We can never honor our veterans enough, I think every day should be veterans day frankly," Glardon said.
For Linda Klungle, the ceremony means something more.
""It would have meant so much to my parents and my grandparents if they were still with us to know that Hoop was honored," she said.
Klungle is Barlow's niece, and she was one of a few Barlow descendants that helped foot the bill for this sign. She made contact with Springs after reading an article about what he was trying to do for her Uncle.
Together, they've worked to honor him.
"He was a fun-loving man, never had any problems with Graham Barlow," Springs said.
That's what Springs wants you to remember, as you pass the sign, because despite years of road blocks and set backs, Springs knows it's always been about one man who died too young while protecting our freedom.