GREEN BAY - More than one hundred people came to the corner of Fisk St. and Dousman Ave. Saturday morning to take part in the dedication of a section of trail on Green Bay's west side.
Earlier this year, the City of Green Bay paved a mile-long trail on a section of old railroad track from Oneida Street to Military Avenue. The trail is now named in memory of Marine Sgt. Ben Edinger.
The Green Bay native was the only service member from Green Bay to die while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Sgt. Edinger died at the age of 24.
"Ben spent a lot of time here when he was a teenager," said his mother, Rosanna Scannell.
Sgt. Edinger died after suffering shrapnel wounds during a roadside bomb attack in 2004. It happened during his second tour of duty in Iraq.
"When people come to this trail, I hope that each person gets something individual from it," Scannell said.
Sgt. Edinger graduated from West High School in 1999. A group of West High students sang at the dedication, which many of Sgt. Edinger's former classmates attended, including Jesse Brunette.
"This trail represents everything that Ben fought to preserve and protect, and that is to bring community together," Brunette said.
Now a Green Bay Alderman, Brunette worked to get the trail named after the American hero.
"I remember him being extremely bright, committed, very popular, and all the attributes that would make him a good Marine," he said.
The trail was funded by several state grants. Local veterans groups paid for the sign materials. Four neighborhood associations also helped make the trail happen, said Green Bay Alderman Mark Steuer.
"As far as my term as an alderman, it was one of the best moments as far as having these groups get together," said Steuer. "We got together on the trail and cleaned up a lot of garbage."
Scannell said Saturday's dedication ceremony showed the Green Bay community values sacrifice.
"It's such an honor that the city is naming this corridor after him, and that it will be named that essentially forever," she said. "When we are all gone, it will still be here."
The city said it hopes to eventually extend the trail north to Howard.
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