FAYETTEVILLE -- The N.C. Department of Transportation formally dedicated portions of N.C. 24 as the Gold Star Highway.
The counties included in the designation are Carteret, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Onslow and Sampson. The N.C. Board of Transportation approved the highway name change in June 2016.
Transportation Secretary James Trogdon III, speaking at the ceremony at the Airborne and Special Operations Museum in Fayetteville, said the department will install 12 signs along the route, including one at each county line, to remind travelers of the service and sacrifice of Gold Star families.
The symbol of the Gold Star came from families of service personnel hanging a banner called a Service Flag with a gold star in the window of their homes to represent those who lost their lives serving their nation.
Trogdon, who retired in 2016 as the Deputy Adjutant General for the North Carolina National Guard, said that it was an honor to recognize military families at his first road naming ceremony since becoming Secretary of Transportation in January.
Other speakers at the ceremony included: Terry Hutchens, Division 6 Member, N.C. Board of Transportation; Rev. Randy Cash, N.C. American Legion; Greg Gebhardt, Advisor, N.C. General Assembly; Rep. David Lewis, Member, N.C. General Assembly; Lorie Southerland, Gold Star Mother; Alicia Woods, Gold Star Spouse and Larry D. Hall, Secretary, N.C. Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.