By William Boyd
Teddy Lehman Expressway (U.S. Highway 62 through the city limits of Fort Gibson) is the last highway our veterans and their families travel en route to our national cemetery in Fort Gibson. At present there are approximately 600 funerals per year. Because of this I asked Cindy Lehman (Teddy’s mother) to ask Teddy if he would in any way object to the notion of renaming the Teddy Lehman Expressway to Veterans Memorial Highway. In a day or so I received his response.
In consideration of his letter and honor to veterans, the Fort Gibson Trustees approved the renaming to Veterans Memorial Highway, subject to state requirements on March 25. The next morning our state senator for Fort Gibson, Sen. Kim David, embraced this endeavor and began to battle time constraints in regards to this “late hour” request with the legislature finishing it’s current term. Otherwise we would need to wait another year (and another 600 funerals).
When our governor signs this year’s legislation this project will be “official.” Of the people I’m in contact with, none expect any hitches. Road dedication and other pertinent information will be forthcoming. It would be a miracle, indeed, to have this dedication on Memorial Day due to time constraints. But, whenever the dedication happens I can already hear and feel “the rolling thunder” of the veterans motorcycle honor guard, can’t you?
On behalf of all veterans and families of veterans we thank Teddy and Erin (Teddy’s wife) as well as the Lehman family for this totally unselfish act and we will continue to be grateful.
Teddy Lehman has been an awesome mentor and role model for our area youth. He obviously is a role model for some of us older “youths” as well. God bless you and yours Teddy Lehman and thanks again.
William Boyd is a former mayor of Fort Gibson.