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The family of an 18-year-old Springfield Gardens soldier who was killed two years ago in Iraq said they were honored their son’s courage and sacrifice was commemorated by the city when a section of 145th Avenue was renamed in his memory last weekend.
Le Ron Wilson, who was born in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to Queens at age 11, was killed July 6, 2007, when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle in Baghdad. A crowd of more than 100 people, including Wilson’s family and friends, gathered Saturday at the corner of 145th Avenue between Farmers Boulevard and Arthur Street in Springfield Gardens for the unveiling of PFC Le Ron A. Wilson Way.
“This is a great honor for our family,” said Lawrence Wilson, the soldier’s father. “He went to Iraq to fight for the freedom of us all. He will always be with us. Le Ron was a loving child — his life was very short, but very meaningful.”
He said he believed there was a special significance that his son’s street renaming took place Aug. 1, which also marks Trinidad and Tobago’s Emancipation Day celebration.
At 18, Le Ron Wilson is the youngest soldier from the five boroughs to have been killed during the war in Iraq. The Thomas Edison High School graduate enlisted in the U.S. Army on his graduation day and completed his training at Fort Knox, Texas, and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. He was assigned to Fort Stewart, Ga., before being shipped to Iraq May 7, 2007.
“As long as we have young men like this young man, there will be freedom in this country,” said City Councilman James Sanders (D-Laurelton). “Every time you see this street, realize that a great debt was paid so you can walk this street undeterred.”
Several veterans groups lined the streets with flags, while community residents and members of Springfield Gardens’ Church of the Nazarene’s congregation stood by on the sidewalk during the ceremony.
Alirio Orduna, founder of Elmhurst-based New York Military Youth Cadets, said he has taken part in several street renamings for fallen soldiers in the borough.
“This is the fourth one we’ve done in Queens — it’s too many,” he said. “I hope there will be no more.”
Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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