Knoxville highway dedicated in honor of fallen hero

Knoxville highway dedicated in honor of fallen hero

Posted:
Marcus Ray Alford, Sr. (right) was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq. (source: family photo) Marcus Ray Alford, Sr. (right) was killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq. (source: family photo)
The southern end of James White Parkway was dedicated as the Capt. Marcus Ray Alford, Sr. Memorial Highway Monday. The southern end of James White Parkway was dedicated as the Capt. Marcus Ray Alford, Sr. Memorial Highway Monday.
"He touched so many lives, and we miss him so much," said Alford's mother, Karen Ray. "He touched so many lives, and we miss him so much," said Alford's mother, Karen Ray.
Family members, community leaders and fellow servicemen came out to dedicate the highway. Family members, community leaders and fellow servicemen came out to dedicate the highway.
"This is one way to continue his memory and continue the work he started," said Rep. Joe Armstrong. "This is one way to continue his memory and continue the work he started," said Rep. Joe Armstrong.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The southern end of James White Parkway will now be known as the Capt. Marcus Ray Alford, Sr. Memorial Highway.

Capt. Alford died in a helicopter crash in Iraq while serving in the U.S. Army. Those who knew him best say the three years since the crash have been long ones.

"He touched so many lives, and we miss him so much," said Alford's mother, Karen Ray.

Ray was among several family members, community leaders and fellow servicemen who came out to dedicate the highway.

"I'm on top of the world right now," said Ray. "This is truly an honor."

The renamed section of the parkway runs from the Tennessee River bridge to Moody Avenue. It connects East Knoxville, where Alford grew up, and South Knoxville, where he attended school and remained a beloved member of the community years later.

"He came back and gave back to the school," said State Rep. Joe Armstrong. "He landed a helicopter in the football field demonstrating and getting kids interested in the military, and going on and advancing their education. He was a role model."

Armstrong was one of the driving forces behind the bill that made the dedication happen.

"There is nothing that we can do to bring back Marcus, but giving some comfort to this family, letting them know he died a hero and that he did make a difference while he was here, and this is one way to continue his memory and continue the work he started," said Armstrong.

"He will always be our hero," added Ray.

With the sign permanently in place, his family says he will always be remembered.

Capt. Alford was only 28 years old when he died. He left behind his mother, father and two young children.

Powered by WorldNow

1306 N. Broadway NE Knoxville,
Tennessee 37917

Telephone: 865.637.NEWS(6397)
Fax: 865.525.4091
Email: newsroom@wate.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Young Broadcasting of Knoxville, Inc. A Media General Company.