Sheldon supports Purple Heart Trail measure

OLYMPIA…Sen. Tim Sheldon has introduced legislation asking the state transportation commission to rename Interstate 5 the “Purple Heart Trail” in honor of soldiers awarded a Purple Heart for injuries sustained during conflict.

The Purple Heart Medal is awarded to members of the armed forces of the United States who are wounded or killed in military action. In honor of all the soldiers who have received this prestigious medal, the Military Order of the Purple Heart established the Purple Heart Trail in 1992.

“What better way to honor those who sacrificed so much for our freedom than to rename the state’s largest highway,” said Sheldon, D-Potlatch, about Senate Joint Memorial 8001. “Our state depends on Interstate 5 for almost everything we need, just as we depend on our nation’s troops for everything we may take for granted.”

The trail is a symbolic and honorary system of roads, highways, bridges, and other monuments that give tribute, originating at a monument in Mt. Vernon, Virginia. In 45 other states, various roads, bridges, and monuments are designated as part of the Purple Heart Trail, including Interstate 5 in California.

“Oftentimes we forget freedom isn’t free,” Sheldon said. “Every soldier with a Purple Heart wears the scars and pain associated with the cost of freedom every day. They fully understand the price of freedom, and we need to celebrate them.”

State law authorizes the state transportation commission to name or rename state transportation facilities, such as state highways, bridges, and ferry terminals.

Historically the Legislature’s passage of a memorial in support of a naming proposal has been considered by the commission as a measure of community support.

This bill requires no state funding.