This street in Illinois was just renamed for a Marine Corporal killed in Afghanistan

Elizabeth Howe
August 19, 2019 - 11:33 am

Photo courtesy of City Councilwoman Tish Powell

Corporal Alex Martinez was killed during his second deployment to Helmand Providence, Afghanistan in early 2012. This week, the street he grew up on in Elgin, Illinois was renamed for him. 

Martinez grew up in his family home on Melrose Avenue in Elgin before joining the Marine Corps after his high school graduation. He supported Operation Enduring Freedom and deployed twice to the Helmand Providence in Afghanistan. On his second deployment, he was mortally wounded while clearing a passage for his unit. 

Martinez received the Purple Heart Medal for his sacrifice, but the town of Elgin had something else to offer Martinez’s family.

Melrose Avenue was given the honorary street name of CPL Alex Martinez Avenue to recognize his service and sacrifice for his country. 

“I was proud to preside over the dedication of the honorary street renaming in honor of Elgin native and Larkin High School graduate, Corporal Alex Martinez, who died in the line of duty in April 2012,” said City Councilwoman Trish Powell. “It was humbling to see so many of CPL Martinez’s family members and residents of our community present at the ceremony today. CPL Martinez, we honor you and will never forget the ultimate sacrifice you paid for our country.”

Two honorary street signs were placed at the southwest and northwest corners of Melrose Avenue. 

"I'm very happy," Martinez's mom, Socorro Bethke, told Elgin Courier-News. "I feel so emotional that something was done for my son. Now, I can look at the sign every day."

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