By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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MACHESNEY PARK — A portion of Alpine Road in the village will be renamed for a Harlem High School graduate and U.S. Marine who died last year in a military aircraft crash.
Corporal Nathan E. Carlson Memorial Highway will stretch between Harlem Road and Illinois 173, state Rep. John Cabello announced on Tuesday. Cabello, a Republican from Machesney Park, sponsored the House resolution to rename the road.
“I knew Corporal Carlson since he was just 2 years old, and the impact that he had on my life will be long-lasting,” Cabello said in a news release. “I am so happy his legacy will be set in stone and that community members and highway travelers alike will have the chance to remember Corporal Nathan E. Carlson as a public servant who served his community and country with pure class and respect.”
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Carlson was born in Rockford and graduated from Harlem High School, where he was captain of the swim team, in 2019. He went on to serve as U.S. Marine Corps combat aviator. He died in June when an MV-22B Osprey, a tilt-rotor aircraft that lands vertically like a helicopter, crashed near Glamis, California, during a military training exercise. He was one of five Marines killed in the crash.
The 21-year-old Marine is survived by his wife, Emily Baxter-Carlson, his parents, Karrie and Eric Carlson, and his sisters, Casey and Mylee Carlson, and many family and friends.
The “CPL Nathan E. Carlson Memorial Highway” is meant to be a lasting tribute to his memory and serve as a reminder of the sacrifices he made for his country, Cabello said.
The Illinois Department of Transportation will install plaques and signs along the roadway at a later date.
This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas