MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A section of Austin Peay Highway is being renamed “Veterans Boulevard” in honor of the sacrifices and contributions of veterans and active-duty military personnel.

State Representative Antonio Parkinson, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, led the unveiling of the new name for the stretch of road between New Covington Pike and Interstate 40.

According to a press release, the idea was brought about by Pastor Mike Ellis, the Shelby County Veterans Services Officer, who says he noticed that the city of Memphis did not have a street named in honor of veterans.

The event celebrated the renaming of the highway with a commemorative lunch event featuring the Raleigh Egypt High School ROTC Color Guard, who presented the flag for the pledge of allegiance, along with Vocalist Victoria Brinkley, who sang the Star Spangled Banner.

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The name change was described as a sign of respect and gratitude for the men and women who have served in the armed forces, and Veterans Blvd sign stands as a “beacon of gratitude.”

“Today is a momentous day for Memphis, a day we come together to honor our veterans and their unwavering commitment to our great nation. Veterans Blvd is not just a street; it’s a symbol of respect and gratitude that our city holds for those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom,” said Parkinson.