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Perfect path to honor military hero in LJ

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Medal of Honor recipient has Highway 61 dedicated to him

By Mary Barczak

 Highway 61 was renamed Friday to commeorate a fallen Soldier whose legacy lives on in Lebanon Junction.

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“My grandfather always told me to grow up and make a name for myself,” said LJ Mayor Butch Sweat.  “And that is what was Henry Mattingly has done.”

Pvt. Henry B. Mattingly served in the Army during the Civil War. He was issued a Congressional Medal of Honor on April 7, 1865, after capturing the enemy’s flag at the Battle of Jonesborough on Sept. 1, 1864.

Sweat said it was such a honor for Lebanon Junction to be a part of this. He said he’s going to work on putting a marker out in the cemetery so people can easily find Mattingly’s grave when they visit.

Some of Mattingly’s family attended the sign unveiling ceremony.

His great-granddaughter Sharon Johnson said it was a great honor and quite a surprise.

“We’re all just very proud of this,” she said.

Johnson said his family is very grateful to the state respresentatives who helped make this happen as well as Jose Rosario who was the catalyst for this project as well as having his MoH tombstone installed three years ago.

Rosario, who was in the military for 26 years, said he thinks it’s important to honor our Soldiers all the time and not just twice a year.

He said this is the first highway in Bullitt County that is named after at Soldier and he hopes it will not be the last.

“It’s not only for him, but for those before him and after him and before me and after me,” Rosario said.

Originally the plan was rename the section of the highway that runs through Lebanon Junction, but Gov. Beshear approved the whole highway to be renamed after Pvt. Mattingly.

Rosario said two signs displaying the new highway name will placed at the Jefferson/Bullitt County line and the Bullitt/Nelson County line.