Political Notebook: U.S. 78 intersection named for fallen Afghanistan vet

On the last day of the legislative session Friday, lawmakers couldn't agree on transportation funding for Georgia or a new charter for Snellville.

But they did take a moment to honor a fallen soldier, naming the intersection of U.S. Highway 78, Killian Hill Road and Bethany Church Road the Cpl. Jonathan Ryan Ayers Memorial Interchange.

The Shiloh High School graduate was top of his ROTC program before joining the U.S. Army in April 2006. He died July 13, 2008 from wounds sustained from an attack in Wanat, Afghanistan.

During a ceremony two weeks ago, Ayers was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. But Rep. Melvin Everson wanted the soldier's dedication to be remembered on a public street.

"Naming this interchange in honor of Cpl. John Ryan Ayers is the least we can do for one of Gwinnett County's native sons who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom," said the Republican from Snellville who sponsored a resolution to name the intersection. It passed unanimously Friday. "I am humbled by Cpl. Ayers, his family and their sacrifice. For this reason I consider it a personal honor to have introduced this legislation."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.