Road To Fort Gibson National Cemetery Renamed 'Veterans Memorial Highway'

Monday, September 2nd 2013, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

More than 21,000 veterans are buried at Fort Gibson's National Cemetery. Monday, part of the road that leads to that final resting place was named "Veterans Memorial Highway."

The simple sounding task was made a bit more difficult, because that part of Highway 62 had already been named for someone else.

They renamed highway 62 as it passes through Fort Gibson

"There's no doubt this is the right thing," said Teddy Lehman.

For years, the stretch of highway has been known as "The Teddy Lehman Expressway," named for the Fort Gibson and OU football star.

"I've always been honored but a little uncomfortable," Lehman said.

As proud as they are of him, Fort Gibson is also home to one of America's National Cemeteries. On most national holidays, scouts from troops 638 and 627 line the route from the highway to the cemetery with 550 American flags. They call the it the trail of honor.

"The signs and the flags lead the way to the National Cemetery," said Senator Kim David.

David led the campaign in the state legislature to get the stretch of highway renamed. That, of course, meant getting Teddy Lehman agree to taking his name off of it, which, as it turned out, was perhaps the easiest part.

"It's the last trip they make before they are laid to rest," Lehman said.

Lehman didn't leave the ceremony empty handed. They gave him the old highway sign with his name on it.

"It's a lot bigger than I thought it would be," he said.

The Fort Gibson National Cemetery is one of two in Oklahoma. The other is at Fort Sill.