Two veterans remembered with highway signs

Staff writer

State Rep. Michael Sheehy, D-Oregon, held an unveiling ceremony July 13 to honor the late Sgt. Alexander Drabik, the first Allied soldier to cross into Nazi Germany during World War II.
Rep. Sheehy sponsored legislation passed and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in March to rename a section of I-475 in Toledo for Sgt. Drabik. The signs designating the route as the “Sgt. Alex Drabik Memorial Highway” were unveiled at the event. Members of Sgt. Drabik’s extended family were also present at the event.
“The actions taken by Sgt. Drabik in World War II saved countless lives, and his sacrifices should never be forgotten,” Rep. Sheehy said. “This designation of I-475 in his honor will help keep his memory alive, and remind people of the bravery and courage he exhibited throughout World War II.”
Born the youngest of 14 children near Holland, O., Sgt. Drabik enlisted in the United States Army in October 1942. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during the Battle of the Bulge. On March 7, 1945, Sgt. Drabik led 10 soldiers across the Ludendorff Railroad Bridge over the Rhine River while under fire and knowing German forces could blow up the bridge. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions.
Meanwhile, Rep. Haraz N. Ghanbari, R-Perrysburg, dedicated the Sgt. Arthur A. Mora, Jr. Memorial Highway during a ceremony Wednesday in Perrysburg to honor the fallen soldier who was killed in action while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“Sergeant Mora’s bravery and sacrifice is forever instilled into our community’s history,” said Ghanbari. “It was an honor to write this legislation to recognize a fellow service member who gave his last measure of devotion to a cause greater than his own.”
Last year, Ghanbari introduced House Bill 275 to designate a portion of State Route 25 in Wood County as the “Sgt. Arthur A. Mora, Jr. Memorial Highway.” The legislation had a hearing in the House Transportation and Public Safety Committee which included testimony from Sgt. Mora’s wife Veronica.
Sgt. Mora, Spc. Russell H. Nahvi and Spc. Jose E. Rosario were killed in action Oct. 19, 2005, when their Humvee was struck by enemy indirect fire during patrol operations in Balad, Iraq. The three soldiers were assigned to the 5th Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga. Sgt. Mora was laid to rest with full military honors at the historic Fort Meigs Union Cemetery located on State Route 25 in Perrysburg.


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