Part of state route in Miami County to be renamed for fallen Marine

A section of Ohio 55 in western Miami County will be named the Pfc. Marc L. Cole Memorial Highway to honor a Milton-Union High School graduate killed in the Oct. 23, 1983, bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut.

The highway name designation was included in Senate Bill 86 approved this week by the Ohio House and headed to the Senate for concurrence before going to the desk of Gov. John Kasich for signing. State Rep. Steve Huffman, R- Tipp City, said a dedication will be scheduled once the bill is signed and becomes law.

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Huffman attended Milton-Union High School and played football with Cole, who graduated with the class of 1982.

Huffman, who graduated in 1983, said Cole headed off to the Marines shortly after graduating. He died at age 19 along with 240 other U.S. military members.

“This was really the start of terrorism. In 1983, you never really thought anything like that would happen,” Huffman said Thursday of the destruction caused by suicide bombers.

“I still remember to this day my mom calling me and telling me,” Huffman said. “This legislation will commemorate his memory and the perfect devotion he gave in pursuit of protecting and promoting freedom.”

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The section of Ohio 55 to be designated in memory of Pfc. Cole goes by the house where Cole grew up.

The designation will be for the area of Ohio 55 starting at the intersection of Ohio 571 and extending to the intersection of Ohio 48 in the area of Ludlow Falls.

Huffman and another of Cole’s friends, Steve Smiley, testified before the House Transportation Committee in support of the designation.

“Marc L. Cole … was a typical young man growing up in the Midwest. He loved this mom and dad, his sister and their pets. He enjoyed sports and played football,” Smiley said in testimony. “He also had a tremendous patriotic love for his country and wanted to serve in the armed forces and, therefore, almost immediately after graduation enlisted.”

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