HARRISBURG -- Family members, friends and classmates gathered Sunday afternoon to recognize a Harrisburg Marine killed in what is regarded as the incident that spurred the U.S. to fight terrorists abroad.
Lance Cpl. David D. Gay Jr. was 21 and a member of the Harrisburg High School Class of 1980. He was killed, along with 219 other Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers on Oct. 23, 1983, when a suicide bomber drove a truck filled with explosives into a barracks building in Beirut, Lebanon, that housed the 1st Battalion 8th Marines.
Fellow classmates of Gay recently asked the city to name a section of a roadway in Gay's memory, and on Thursday, council members unanimously voted to approve the action.
That street is the entrance off South Commercial Street by Taco Bell that leads into the Walmart parking lot.
Signe (Hull) Plumlee, who spoke on behalf of the Class of 1980, said she and fellow classmates suggested that particular street because it previously was unnamed.
"We understand that renaming a street can be a costly extravagance for the city and citizens that reside on that street to undertake," Plumlee said.
Street and Alley workers installed the new street signs Friday and on Sunday, the gathering of about 60 paid a hero's tribute to Gay.
"We want to show our appreciation for those who serve and who have served, and want to make sure our fallen veterans are never forgotten," Plumlee said.
Councilwoman Natalie Brown-Miller, the city's Street and Alley commissioner who made the motion to rename the street in Gay's honor, and Mayor John McPeek joined Gay's family and friends at the ceremony.
"We're glad we have the opportunity to recognize Lance Cpl. David Gay for his contribution and especially for his sacrifice," McPeek said. "He died a hero serving his country."