State Representative Mark Romanchuk (R-Mansfield) yesterday gave remarks at a highway dedication ceremony in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Albert L. Allen, Jr. Through the passage of Substitute Senate Bill 182 in February, numerous memorial highways were created across the state.

Under the bill, the portion of Interstate Route 71 from the southwest border of Ashland County to its intersection with State Route 39 in Richland County is designated as the “Lt. Col. Albert L. Allen, Jr. Memorial Highway.”

“Having sponsored the original legislation to designate a portion of I-71 the ‘Lt. Col. Albert L. Allen, Jr. Memorial Highway,’ it was tremendous honor to stand with his family at the dedication ceremony,” said Rep. Romanchuk. “Many thanks to Tony DeLong at the Richland County Veterans Service Commission and to Senator Larry Obhof for their efforts to make this highway memorial a reality.”

Allen, a Mansfield native, was a recipient of numerous military awards including three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, three Presidential Citations, a Silver Star, and several campaign medals. He was assigned to Company C, 192nd Tank Battalion at Fort Knox, and was deployed to the Philippine Islands in November 1941. Allen was captured as a POW during the surrender of the Bataan Peninsula and was forced to march 65 miles to a prison camp, in what later became known as the Bataan Death March. He was freed 3 1/2 years later and was honorably discharged from the military.

Rep. Romanchuk attended the ceremony alongside of Senator Larry Obhof (R-Medina) and representatives from the Richland County Veterans Service Commission.

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