Veterans groups, family and community members, who were successful in getting a U.S. 50 highway overcrossing at Ray Lawyer Drive in Placerville named in honor of fallen Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Sky Mote, must now raise $6,144 to pay the state of California to install signs memorializing Mote.
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The decision to honor Mote by naming the overcrossing after him resulted from his fatal defense of a military outpost against an Afghan police officer armed with an AK-47 and directing others to safety while putting himself in mortal danger.
In recognition of his heroic action, Mote received the Navy Cross, the U.S. Navy’s highest honor and an award second only to the United States Congressional Medal of Honor. The citation identified that Mote, while serving at a military outpost in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, in 2012, had run to the sound of shots being fired and, “In his final act of bravery, he boldly remained in the open and engaged the shooter, no less than five meters in front of him.”
Persons involved in the effort to rename the overcrossing have expressed disappointment over the high cost for the signs, which are needed to identify the overcrossing as named in honor of Staff Sgt. Mote.
They mention Victims Memorial Signs that identify the victims of drunk drivers, which Caltrans charges applicants $1,000 to install, and point to Gold Star Peak at Lake Tahoe, which was renamed recently to memorialize all members of the armed forces who died in combat, noting that veterans, family members and friends were not asked to pull from their pockets in order for the peak to be so identified.
The reason for the $6,114 charge is that the cost of making and installing memorial signs is not funded within the California Department of Transportation’s budget, meaning that the signs must be paid for by supporters of such memorials.
Contributions made to identify the overcrossing may be made online to eldoradocf.org (Welcome Home Fund) or mailed to El Dorado Community Foundation, Attn: Welcome Home Fund, PO Box 1388, Placerville 95667.