Fallen Oklahoma Soldier Honored With Plaque, Street Sign

Saturday, January 28th 2012, 4:17 pm
By: News On 6

Specialist Chris Horton was one of 14 Oklahoma National Guard soldiers who never came home from war last year.

The 26-year-old sharpshooter died during a firefight in Afghanistan on September 9, 2011.

9/12/2011 Related Story: Collinsville Military Wife Determined To Honor Husband's Sacrifice

To honor his memory, a street sign around the corner from his family's home now bears his name.

"I've seen so many streets named after Presidents and football coaches. I thought it was time to start naming them after heroes," said Ken Poppiti, the organizer of the project to memorialize Horton.

Specialist Horton is truly a hometown hero.

The red, white and blue sign with his name sits atop the corner of 112th East Avenue and 123rd Street North in Owasso's Crescent Ridge neighborhood.

Beneath the sign is a plaque bearing Specialist Horton's name and describing his love for God and country. The plaque reads: "A true American hero and army sniper who gave his life for the country he so loved. He was a defender of God, freedom and country."

Jane Horton says her biggest fear is once America's wars in the Middle East are out of the headlines, her husband's sacrifice will be forgotten.

"A lot of times, the soldiers that are killed are faceless. People hear on the news that there have been three soldiers killed and think, 'Oh, how sad.'"

But now, generations of Owasso children will walk by this sign, learn what it means to be a patriot and be inspired by Specialist Horton.

"That's why I picked the quote at the bottom," she said. "I don't know where the country will be 100 years from now or however long the plaque will be there. If you see the quote at the bottom, it's from Samuel Adams and it says, 'If we all valued freedom as we ought, then we would all be free.'"

Jane Horton hopes it also serves as a reminder that thousands of troops are still fighting for our freedom, so we cannot and should not forget them or their families.