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Section of road could be renamed for fallen Franklin Co. soldier

Bill would rename part of Pa. 997 the 'Sgt. Edward W. Shaffer Memorial Highway'

September 16, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH
  • Sgt. Edward W. Shaffer
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MONT ALTO, Pa. -- A bill renaming a section of Pa. 997 in honor of a fallen soldier received unanimous approval this week from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

House Bill 2413 would rename Pa. 997 the "Sgt. Edward W. Shaffer Memorial Highway" within the Borough of Mont Alto limits.

State Rep. Todd Rock, who introduced the legislation, said he doesn't anticipate any problems with the bill passing the Pennsylvania Senate. Once approved, the road's name change would be represented on signs made by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Shaffer died Dec. 27, 2006, from injuries he received from a roadside bomb Nov. 13, 2006, in Ramadi, Iraq. He was a Mont Alto resident and 2002 graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School.

The Little League baseball field in Mont Alto and a building at Letterkenny Army Depot in Chambersburg, Pa., were renamed for Shaffer.

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Rock, R-Franklin, said he knows Shaffer's family and tried to think of an additional way to honor the soldier's memory.

"He voluntarily signed up to do this and lost his life. What could we do to remember?" Rock said.

The sergeant's grandfather, Edward L. Shaffer, said Rock first mentioned the road being renamed a few years ago, so he was surprised to hear the bill passed Monday.

"This here is really something," he said. "Of all the things he's been honored for, I think this tops it all."

Signs on both the north and south ends of town will identify the road as "Sgt. Edward W. Shaffer Memorial Highway," Rock said.

Shaffer served with the 3rd Platoon B of the U.S. Army's 136th Infantry. He was the first soldier from Franklin County killed in the war in Iraq.

"He's always remembered at our family get-togethers. There's always an empty chair," his grandfather said.

Pa. 997 is also known as "Anthony Highway" locally in reference to Gen. Anthony Wayne from the Revolutionary War. Wayne was the commanding officer of John Wallace, who laid out the town of Waynesboro, Pa., in 1797.

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