Merrill to unveil its first of honorary street names on Memorial Day

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Merrill Logo(WSAW)
Published: May. 25, 2023 at 5:08 PM CDT
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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) - The City of Merrill will begin revealing the first of their honorary street names on Memorial Day.

The Historic Preservation Committee, whose main mission is to preserve and protect historic structures in the city, launched the program last year as a way to remember and honor residents of Merrill who through their life, their works, their contributions to the city, or in their passing left an indelible mark on the city.

In total, 11 people will be recognized in the first unveiling. The committee will then take applications for future potential streets to be added.

If you live on one of the streets involved, nothing about your physical address will change. These names are again honorary, and the signs are distinctly colored and lettered to show this. The post office will not recognize it as an official name change.

The first sign will be dedicated at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of N Prospect and Merrill Street, next to 201 N. Prospect St. That block of Prospect Street will be named in honor of Sgt. Grant Dampier, who was killed while serving overseas as a part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

At 10 a.m., a second sign will be unveiled at the corner of E Main St and Sales St, in front of 2000 E Main St., to honor Sgt. Ryan Jopek. Jopek, who was a member of the Wisconsin National Guard, was killed in 2006 while also serving overseas as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Both members’ families have arranged to attend both events in person. At the conclusion of the Jopek unveiling, the families will travel to the Veterans Memorial at St. Francis Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day program.

A third sign honoring Lt. Robert Russell, who is the only missing-in-action serviceman from the City of Merrill from World War II, will be unveiled in November when his family is able to attend.

Other signs will be revealed in the coming weeks based on family availability.