Hixson proposes highway renaming
If you go
A public hearing on the bill to rename a section of Highway 12 as the "Stephen Ambrose Memorial Highway" is at 10 a.m. Thursday in room 417 North at the Capitol in Madison.
WHITEWATER Rep. Kim Hixson, D-Whitewater, wants to rename a section of Highway 12 in Walworth County to honor Stephen Ambrose, a prominent American historian and Whitewater native.
Hixson has proposed the section of Highway 12 from County P to County Line Road be called the "Stephen Ambrose Memorial Highway."
Hixson said he knows the importance of a soldier's sacrifice, and he wants to honor a man with local roots who memorialized those who fought and died for freedom.
The city of Whitewater approached Hixson as well as Rep. Steve Nass, R-La Grange, to rename the highway, City Manager Kevin Brunner said. Renaming a state highway requires state approval, he said.
Brunner said a few local people asked if there was a way the city could recognize one of its most famous sons. He said officials liked the idea of renaming the highway, which passes by Whitewater.
Hixson supported the idea, in part because he has a personal connection to the proposal. He had two uncles killed in World War II. He never knew them, but he knew their wives and children, and each time he visited his family, he looked at portraits of his uncles in their service uniforms, he said.
"Those photographs were a constant reminder of all the young men who laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom," he said.
Hixson said he wants to recognize Ambrose for his dedication to honoring soldiers, like his uncles, who fought for their country.
Ambrose spent much of his childhood in Whitewater and studied American history at UW-Madison.
He wrote several best-selling books such as "Band of Brothers," "Undaunted Courage" and "Citizen Soldiers," and was the biographer for presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. Ambrose went on to become one of the most renowned historians in the world, lending his knowledge of World War II to the movie "Saving Private Ryan" and producing the television miniseries "Band of Brothers."
Hixson said renaming the section of Highway 12 would not cost the state or taxpayers any money. Private donations and money from the city of Whitewater are expected to cover the cost of the project, he said.