MITTIE, LA. (KPLC) -If you travel Highway 26 in the area of Mittie you may notice, that stretch has a new name--after a soldier killed in Normandy, France in 1944. It's now Cecil B. Tramel Memorial Highway.
You don't often see a crowd gathered on the side of a busy state highway-- but family and friends of Tramel came here for the official naming of this stretch of Highway 26 between Highway 377 and Mittie. Tramel was killed in action in Normandy France in 1944. He was the uncle of State Representative Dorothy Sue Hill who still remembers the day the family received the tragic news. "We were out getting the cows in the afternoon and the red cross came by with the telegram. It was a telegram to my grandparents and they just stopped and said, 'Would you all come and follow us down to Mr. And Mrs. Tramel's house, to my dad's mother and dad's, so we all did because they were bringing bad news."
Cecil never married so Hill feels naming the highway which Tramel frequently traveled will help keep his memory alive. One of his oldest surviving relatives is 86 year old Gertrude Tramel who was Cecil's sister in law. "When he come home my husband and I and Emmie Young took him to the bus station in Oberlin and that was the last time we saw him."
And as they gathered here to re-name the roadway they honored Tramel's memory with a farewell to warrior ceremony ready by a Viet Nam Veteran. "The boots symbolize that the warrior's journey is over with; Placing the weapon with a fixed bayonet symbolizes that his battle is over with, he may now rest in peace. Placing the helmet, he doesn't need any more protection. He's protected by a higher being. And the dog tags, the Lord knows who he has called to his throne and the names are just for us to remember our fallen brother."
Cecil Tramel died August 20th of 1944 at the age of 28. He was one of nine children-- two girls and seven boys. He was third from the youngest.