The Ohio legislature has passed a bill that will rename a section of Route 84 in Mentor after Marines Sgt. Mark Smykowski, who died while serving his country.
He died at the age of 23 after the Hummer in which he rode hit a roadside bomb in June 2006 in the Al Anbar province of Iraq.
In recognition of his sacrifice and service, Route 84 from Broadmoor to Chillicothe Road will be renamed in his honor.
"I hope when people see his name they'll look him up and see what he did," Mark's father, Hubert Smykowski, said to The News-Herald.
Smykowski was part of a group of seven graduates who joined the military just before and after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Called the Mentor Seven, they also included Brian Halan, Matthew Neath, Smykowski's younger brother Darren, Neath's younger brother Nathan, Nicholas Psenicnik and Joseph Lorek. All but Lorek had been teammates on the Mentor High hockey team who later honored .
Smykowski's youngest brother, Kenny, also joined the Marines later.
Sadly, Lorek, too, was a casualty of war, ending his own life in 2008 after struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Smykowski's mother, Diana Ross, still lives and works in the Mentor area. Since her son's death, she has visited Iraq and talked to to Christian women living there as part of the Arab Women Today program.