The Medal of Honor.
It’s not something you win, it’s something you earn.
It’s only given to U.S. military members who distinguish themselves by an act of valor, which is exactly what Belmont County native Emile DeLeau did while fighting during World War II.
“You know, the word hero gets used a lot, but when you read about people like Sergeant DeLeau and see what he did and how he gave his life in World War II to save his comrades and to help fight for freedom, you know, we have to remember those, said Ohio State Representative, Jack Cera.
During the war, Sergeant DeLeau was killed by machine gun fire while attempting to neutralize the enemy.
To honor his sacrifice, local officials, family members and others all gathered for a special road-naming ceremony.
This comes after Representative Cera passed legislation to name a portion of I-70 in honor of Sergant DeLeau, which makes the DeLeau family so proud.
“His legacy is going to live on. When people pass on the interstate and see his name, they’ll remember him, and that’s what’s important, to remember my uncle. I want his legacy alive and living in this area,” said Emile’s niece, Janet Kinsey.
Sergeant DeLeau is credited with clearing four houses of enemy troops and capturing 10 enemy soldiers, but the thing he’ll always be remembered for is giving the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends.