KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — A Corryton lawmaker filed a bill that proposes to rename a segment of Tazewell Pike after fallen soldier Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss and it is making its way through the committees within the Tennessee General Assembly.
Knauss, 23, a Gibbs High School graduate, was among the 13 U.S. service members killed by a suicide bombing during the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in August 2021. Knauss and the other 12 service members have since been posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Congressional Gold Medal.
The bill (HB 1921) to rename part of Tazewell Pike the “SSG Ryan C. Knauss Memorial Highway” was filed for introduction in Nashville in late January by Rep. Dave Wright (R-District 19). Senator Becky Duncan Massey is a co-sponsor for the Senate version of the bill, SB 2038.
An amendment proposed under SB 2038 notes the location of the segment along Tazewell Pike; beginning with the intersection at Henegar Road and ending at the intersection with Gibbs Road and the segment of East Emory Road near Beeler Road near Kerns Branch, then ending at the intersection with Boruff Road. Markers and signage of the name would be added along the route.
At last check, HB 1921 had been placed on the calendar of the House Transportation Committee for its Feb. 22, 2022 hearing.
Knauss was a member of the Army’s 82nd Airborne division and a staff sergeant assigned to the 9th Battalion, 8th Psychological Operations Group. He was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on Sept. 21. He was honored by East Tennessee in a funeral procession that passed through the heart of Knoxville before his interment.