On Friday, August 13th, a two mile section of Apison Pike, from Patten Town Road to Ooltewah-Ringgold Road in Collegedale, will be formally designated as the Veterans Memorial Drive. At a special ceremony beginning at 9am, government officials will unveil new signs disclosing the name that has been several years in the approval process.
Collegedale’s Commissioner Garver suggested the idea of Veterans Memorial Drive to his fellow Commissioners at a meeting in 2019. He believed this designation would display respect to all veterans and military personnel. The Collegedale City Commission unanimously approved and passed a resolution in support of this proposal - and the process began.
Cities requesting an honorary or commemorative name for a highway must appeal to the Tennessee General Assembly, as only they have the authority to approve these requests. The late Representative Mike Carter was contacted in November 2020 to gain his support. Since this process requires legislation, both Representative Carter and Senator Bo Watson filed an amendment to the Omnibus Road Naming bill during the 2021 legislative session to have a specific portion of Apison Pike to be designated as Veterans Memorial Drive. Once the bill passed both the House and Senate and was signed by Governor Lee, the designated name of Veterans Memorial Drive became official.
“One can never do enough to repay the debt owed our fallen heroes in service of their country,” replied Representative Joan Carter, wife of the late Representative Mike Carter. “We can never thank them enough. This is truly a great day for our veterans and a small token of our appreciation. I'd like to thank the Collegedale City Commission for passing this resolution. When Eric Sines reached out to the legislature for help at the state level, Mike was honored to sponsor this amendment to the Omnibus Road Naming bill. Thank you, again, to all who serve.”
The special unveiling ceremony will be held on Friday, August 13, beginning at 9am in front of the Little Debbie Thrift Store at 9515 Apison Pike. The public is invited to attend.
“Designating a major road in Collegedale as ‘Veterans Memorial Drive’ speaks volumes about the respect and the appreciation this community has for those who serve honorably to preserve the freedom we love,” said Commissioner Garver. “It’s great to live where the men and women of the United States Military, past and present, are honored in this very special way. Today is a memorable day for all. Thank you Collegedale!”