MAUMEE— State Representative Michael Sheehy (D-Oregon) today held an unveiling ceremony to honor the late Sgt. Alexander Drabik, the first Allied soldier to cross into Nazi Germany during World War II.
Rep. Sheehy sponsored legislation passed and signed by Gov. Mike DeWine in March to rename a section of Interstate 475 in Toledo for Sgt. Drabik. The signs designating the route as the “SGT Alex Drabik Memorial Highway” were unveiled at the event Monday. Members of Sgt. Drabik’s extended family were also present at the event.
“The actions taken by Sgt. Drabik in World War II saved countless lives, and his sacrifices should never be forgotten,” Rep. Sheehy said. “This designation of Interstate 475 in his honor will help keep his memory alive, and remind people of the bravery and courage he exhibited throughout World War II.”
Born the youngest of 14 children near Holland, Ohio, Sgt. Alexander Drabik enlisted in the United States Army in October 1942. He was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during the Battle of the Bulge. On March 7, 1945, Sgt. Drabik led ten soldiers across the Ludendorff Railroad Bridge over the Rhine River while under fire and knowing German forces could blow up the bridge. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions.
A video of the event can be viewed on the Ohio Department of Transportation – Toledo District 2 Facebook page.
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